Hon Hai Technology Group—more popularly known as Foxconn—is a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer you may not be familiar with. But did you know that it is responsible for most of the phones (notably, the iPhone) that most of us use today?
In a very unexpected move, the company has shown off three electric vehicles under the Foxtron brand—an SUV called the Model C, a luxury sedan called the Model E, and an urban bus called the Model T.
The names might give the likes of Tesla and Ford a bit of a headache, but the key difference here is that these vehicles are going to be “product platforms” (or reference designs) for other manufacturers to build on. The Yulon Group’s Luxgen and CMC (China Motor Corporation) brands will be the first adopters of this technology.
But regardless, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu says that the company will establish an EV supply chain and distribution network, while also showing how far it has gone in terms of hardware. Hon Hai will also bring over its expertise in the software and semiconductor business to aid in the development of “easy-to-use, highly efficient and high-performance EVs.” According to the executive, the firm is “ready and no longer the new kid in town.”
Now, onto the cars. The Model C is an electric SUV that measures 4.64m long, and offers seating for seven passengers with storage space to spare. It has a drag coefficient of 0.27, allowing it to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and have an “extended range” of 700km.
On the other hand, the Model E luxury sedan is jointly developed with Pininfarina, featuring a rear seat space that can transform into a “dedicated mobile office,” allow seamless connections with mobile devices, and have some advanced features like doors that open based on facial recognition, “smart windows,” and other “smart vehicle and environment interfaces.” It has an output of about 750hp and can reportedly do the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.8 seconds. All of this is rounded out with an estimated range of 750km.
Lastly, we have the Model T. No, this isn’t a homage to that iconic Ford vehicle. This is a city bus that’s been tested rigorously to meet Federal Transit Administration regulations, undergoing 200,000km of endurance trials, and more than 1,000 hours of rigid-strength evaluations at the Automotive Research & Testing Center in Taiwan. Its battery can apparently withstand temperatures of up to 400°C, all while managing a range of over 400km. When the bus is fully loaded, it has a maximum speed of 120km/h.
All of this sounds impressive, right? As we’ve said in the past, we seem to be in the era of fledgling EV startups, each with their own ambitious goals and products to revolutionize the market. Some do end up successful. And with a company as large as Foxconn, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more manufacturers adopt its EV designs in the future.