Key iPhone assembler Foxconn, based out of Taiwan, says the first electric vehicles (EV) built using the company’s open software and hardware platform will be released by the end of this year.
“This year will mark a significant year for Foxconn’s EV efforts. There will be two to three EV models using our MIH platform’s designs in the fourth quarter of this year,” Foxconn Chairman Young Liu said.
The multinational electronics manufacturer is betting on its open platform, named MIH, to drive growth in its electric vehicle business as the company seeks new revenue sources to counter the slowing smartphone industry. The customizable platform, which includes a chassis, electronic architecture and support for autonomous driving, is designed to shorten the amount of time and resources automakers need to turn out new electric cars.
Mr. Liu said the first three EV models based on the MIH platform will include an electric bus and two passenger vehicles for the Taiwanese and Chinese markets.
Meanwhile, Foxconn’s joint venture with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will work with Geely and American EV startup Faraday Future on possible plans for EV development, he added. “People’s interests and dedication to the EV industry is rising,” Mr. Liu said while adding that, “I think the overall EV industry will take off in 2024, a year earlier than my previous estimate, as many players will launch their electric vehicles that year.” Foxconn’s goal of having 10 percent of global EVs using its MIH platform’s designs by 2025 remains unchanged, Mr. Liu added.
The Apple supplier’s automotive business, which currently focuses mainly on components, contributed around $340 million in sales in 2019, which is a small slice of Foxconn’s annual total in 2019 and 2020. Mr. Liu said the EV-related business is expected to start making a meaningful revenue contribution to the company from 2023.
Mr. Liu, who became Foxconn’s chairman in June 2019, has been helping the contract electronics manufacturing giant to identify new long-term growth drivers. Electrics vehicles, semiconductors, servers and key components are among the areas Foxconn is prioritizing for investment.