Foxconn Teams Up With Chinese Automaker Geely to Build Electric Vehicles

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is getting into the electric vehicle game.

The world’s largest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics, Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, is teaming up with one of China’s leading carmakers, Hangzhou-based carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, to assemble made-to-order electric cars, using their production prowess and supply chain expertise to help more marques enter the highly competitive market for new-energy vehicles.

Foxconn — best known for building the iPhone along with a plethora of other tech devices — has unveiled its own open-source EV platform called MIH, complete with a solid-state battery pack and in-vehicle internet services.

During a presentation, Foxconn chairman Young-Way Liu said that MIH is a software-defined open platform. Liu said that a software-defined car is one with “functions and characteristics [that] can be changed and improved through software upgrades after the car is delivered.”

“Metaphorically speaking, our open platform is like [Google’s] AndroidOS. The introduction of the open platforms will enable carmakers to greatly shorten the development process and accelerate the product lead time,” Foxconn Chairman Young Liu said at the inaugural Foxconn Technology Day in Taipei. “The first EV adopting Foxconn’s open platform will be available in the market in two years at the earliest.”

“By 2025 to 2027, Foxconn’s new open platform can secure at least 10% of the global EV market,” he said, meaning “at least some 3 million electric cars will be powered by the new platform.”

The venture will lower entry barriers to the EV market by allowing a would-be EV designer to outsource its production to Geely and Foxconn, in much the same way that smartphones, tablets and personal computers of global brands such as Apple, Samsung and Dell are made to order by Foxconn.

It marks the latest move by Foxconn into autos after a tie-up with Chinese electric car startup Byton and comes amid reports that Apple is likely to launch a self-driving electric car by 2024.

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