Foxconn unveils electric vehicle prototypes
Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant that assembles Apple iPhones, on Monday unveiled the first physical fruits of its efforts to become a major player in the electric vehicle: a luxury sedan, a sport utility vehicle and a bus.
The prototypes were unveiled in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, just a year after Foxconn executives declared their great ambitions in battery-powered vehicles, an area in which the company had limited experience.
Foxconn has since started working on pieces of hardware and software that automakers can use to develop electric cars. He has also signed deals with start-ups like Fisker and Lordstown Motors to help them develop and mass produce their vehicles.
The prototypes Foxconn presented on Monday, which the company dubbed Models C, E and T, are models that customers can refer to when designing their vehicles. Foxconn has worked with Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor to develop the prototypes, and Yulon will be the first customer to market the two companies’ efforts.
Foxconn chairman Young Liu said he believes a company known for assembling smartphones and laptops has a role to play in the auto industry.
“Our biggest challenge is that we don’t know how to make cars,” Liu told reporters on Monday.
But he said traditional automakers face an even bigger challenge: They lack expertise in software and computer chips, both of which are important as cars acquire more digital intelligence. This makes Foxconn’s experience in consumer electronics an advantage, Liu said.
He added that the fact that Foxconn gave his electric bus the same name as what is perhaps the most famous car ever made, the Ford Model T, should not be taken to imply that he was working with the American car manufacturer.