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Saturday, October 17, 2020

iPhone Maker Foxconn Wants to Build EVs

iPhone maker Foxconn Technology is getting into the EV business and to do that, has partnered with Taiwan-based Yulon Group (the ones that used to run Nissan in the Philippines) to develop and manufacture a new open-source EV platform which it calls MIH.

According to Foxconn Chairman Young-Way Liu, the platform uses software to define the functions and characteristics of the vehicle. With that, vehicle behavior can be changed and/or improved through software upgrades even after the car has been delivered to the customer.

The software platform would be connected to Foxconn’s cloud, and have an "EV kit" SDK that automakers could plug into their vehicles to control and use the battery pack and platform. The system could be updated with additional functions such as remote key access or driver-assistance systems.

Meanwhile, the hardware itself is modular and flexible to meet the needs of automakers. Wheelbase, width, and height are all adjustable. The modules have front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive variants with a variety of motors ranging from 95 kW (129 horsepower) to 340 kW (462 horsepower), with additional specs available based on customer demand.

Most impressive is that MIH will run on a solid-state battery available as early as 2024. Solid-state batteries can charge quicker, and have a larger storage capacity than the lithium-ion batteries found in current vehicles. The company has been working with battery supplier CATL and solid-state battery company SES.

Foxconn hasn’t revealed if they have already approached carmakers though FCA maybe a likely customer. That said, the electronics giant says they are targeting to grab 10 percent of the EV market by 2027.

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