Foxconn expands EV business, expects more joint ventures

29, Oct. 2020

Yulon Motor CEO Lilian Chen (R) and Foxconn Group Chairman Young Liu launching their joint venture to develop and manufacture electric vehicles. (Photo courtesy of Foxconn Group)
Yulon Motor CEO Lilian Chen (R) and Foxconn Group Chairman Young Liu launching their joint venture to develop and manufacture electric vehicles. (Photo courtesy of Foxconn Group)

TAIPEI, NNA - Foxconn Technology Group is expecting more collaborations for its electric vehicle (EV) venture after it launched an open software and hardware platform recently to make it easier for car makers to develop their EVs as the global market is poised for robust growth after the pandemic disruption.

Foxconn, which has also launched new technologies for manufacturing key EV components, aims to capture 10 percent of the world's overall EV market or 3 million vehicles by between 2025 and 2027, said chairman Young Liu when announcing the platform launch on Oct. 16.

Supporting its push to gain a strong foothold is its strategic alliance sealed with Yageo Group in late September.

Formally known as Hon Hai Technology Group, Foxconn has been in talks with several carmakers and will announce more joint ventures around mid-November, Liu said.

Foxconn's joint venture with Taiwan’s major automaker Yulon Motor Co. in February is expected to see them building their first EV car within two years, after the roll-out of a hybrid model first by next year, according to their plan.

Last month, Foxconn joined hands with Yageo Group, a Taiwanese hardware company, to push further into electric vehicle production.

The strategic partnership, which includes R & D collaboration, will take Foxconn’s EV business forward by leveraging Yageo’s expertise in key electronic components for electric vehicles, industrial specifications, 5G technology, and special semiconductor packaging, among other things, said Hon Hai in its statement.

"Yageo Group certainly will become the best strategic partner for Hon Hai Group in the development of electric vehicles, digital healthcare, and robotics," it said.

The creation of the more comprehensive EV platform (EV) and technologies for manufacturing key EV components marked a big leap in the company’s growing EV business and its strategic plan to build an ecosystem for EVs in Taiwan and overseas, said Foxconn when launching the 'MIH' platform.

The more flexible platform aims to overcome the development pain points of EVs currently by separating the use of software and hardware, while allowing integration too.

"By allowing developers access to key technologies and tools for developing EVs on MIH, Foxconn reduces the entry barriers to the industry, encouraging more companies to be involved in the development of EVs which will result in exponential growth for the industry," it said, adding that it aims to position the platform as the “android system of the EV industry”.

Leveraging the customizing and modular features of the platform, automobile manufacturers will be able to create various models, from sedans to sport utility vehicles, to suit their needs.

Earlier this year, Foxconn announced a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler, the world’s fourth largest automaker, following the latter's merger with French carmaker PSA, to make electric cars and internet-connected vehicles in China.

Foxconn hopes to work with industry partners towards the goal of creating a “software-defined” open ecosystem for the EV manufacturing industry.

Complementing the EV solution will be Foxconn's high-performance, solid-state battery which will be launched for sales by 2024. Made of highly malleable die-casting material, it will feature larger energy storage and faster charging ability.

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract maker of consumer electronics and main assembler of Apple products such as iPhones, is diversifying into new sectors as it trims its dependence on contract manufacturing in the face of rising competition from China and slacking growth in the global consumer electronics.

As part of its development strategy, Foxconn has been moving into the electric vehicle, digital health and robotics arenas, while boosting core technologies in semiconductors, artificial intelligence, 5G and future 6G systems.

Valued at $162.34 billion in 2019, the global EV market is projected to soar to $802.81 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.

It is expected to grow at a yearly 18.4 percent compound rate from 2020 to 2025, according to a recent forecast by market analysis firm Kenneth Research.

The Boston Consulting Group expects battery-powered electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will seize almost a quarter of the car market by 2030.

Several global car brands such as Volkswagen have also ventured into the sector and launched EV development platforms.

General Motors unveiled a “skateboard-type” platform, on which two of Honda’s all-electric models will be developed under a joint venture.

South Korea’s Hyundai launched its new EV brand IONIQ, to be developed on its E-GMP platform, which is designed to offer “fast charging capability and plentiful driving range," it said.