iPhone maker Foxconn outs its first electric cars, including a 750HP Model E sedan
Foxconn, the assembler of all things Apple and iPhone, has presented its first electric cars during the Hon Hai Tech Day event on Monday. Armed with its expertise in chips and software to compensate for the dearth of car manufacturing experience, the electronics giant announced not one or two but "three autonomously developed electric vehicles: the Model C recreational vehicle, the Model E sedan, and the Model T electric bus."
The Model C electric SUV has a 434-mile range and a respectable 0-60 MPH speed of 3.8 seconds. The pretty Model E sedan is designed in partnership with the storied Italian studio Pininfarina, while its specs allow for up to a 466-mile range and a whopping 0-60 miles per hour time of just 2.8 seconds, thanks to the 750HP drivetrain. Finally, the Model T electric bus is good for 250 miles on a charge but, understandably, no 0-60 MPH speeds were given for it. Foxconn's electric bus, however, has a higher chance of reaching someone's retail fleet than the other two models, from what we grasped during the presentation, a recording of which you can find below (the fun starts at 1h:35m into the video).
Model C, Model R, and Model T sound an awful lot like the naming scheme of Tesla's vehicles, and this could be a good indicator where Foxconn is headed with Monday's announcement. One, it is the actual manufacturer of many of today's top gadgets, including Apple's iPhones, and its production expertise could allow it to quickly catch up with the best of them. Second, it has a US presence and plans in motion to actually produce electric cars there by purchasing Ohio's car factory of Lordstown Motors, an EV startup.
Since the trio was unveiled under Foxconn's own Foxtron brand for electric vehicle undertakings, the company may simply be using it as a showcase for its open-source electric car software and hardware platform that it announced last year. It could also be an invitation to the likes of the Apple Car effort that intend to dabble in electric vehicles from scratch to consider the new platform.
Upon exploring various legacy car-makers, the Apple Car project was last rumored to go it alone via dedicated partnerships like with LG for the batteries, or the Hyundai/Kia conglomerate's E-GMP platform for the drivetrain. In any case, a manufacturing giant like Foxconn entering the red-hot electric car market is sure to stir some more welcome competition in the field.