Apple’s largest supplier, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, has been making busy moves getting in the trendy game of electric vehicles. On Monday, the electronics manufacturer unveiled three EV prototypes at its “Technology Day” event in Taipei.
The concept vehicles were developed through Foxconn’s Foxtron unit, a joint venture with Taiwan’s Yulon Motor. Rather than selling them under its own brand, Foxconn plans to build these cars for client firms, a strategy to show the EV industry that it wants to apply its successful OEM model in consumer electronics to automobiles.
The three prototypes unveiled are: Model C, an electric SUV built on Foxconn’s own EV platform; Model E, a luxury sedan designed in partnership with Italian design firm Pininfarina; and Model T, an electric bus designed for urban public transportation.
Foxconn claims that the Model E sedan can run up to about 470 miles with a single battery charge. That’s about 25 percent more than the longest range EV available on the market, Tesla’s long-range Model 3, which has an EPA-certified driving range of 353 miles.
Last month, Foxconn entered an agreement with U.S. EV startup Lordstown Motors to buy its only factory in Ohio, a former General Motors plant, for more than $200 million and manufacture the company’s first electric pickup truck, Endurance, at the facility.
Foxconn also has manufacturing deals with Los Angeles-based EV startup Fisker, Jeep parent Stellantis, China’s auto giant Geely and Thailand’s state-owned conglomerate PTT.
“We are no longer the new kid in town. We have gradually built an EV supply chain and showcased our EV hardware,” Foxconn chairman Young Liu said during the event.
Foxconn unveiled its electric vehicle ambition at a time when Apple is reportedly working on its own electric car. Could Foxconn be a potential EV supplier for Apple? The possibility is certainly there, given the two companies’ 20-year relationship. However, Foxconn didn’t address the matter during Monday’s event.
Apple, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in working with Korean companies on the “Apple car” project. The iPhone maker is reported to have held talks with Hyundai and Kia as potential EV partners but failed to reach any agreement. Earlier this year, Korean media reported that Apple had agreed to form a joint venture with LG, as well as Canadian auto supplier Magna, to work on EV prototypes.