Foxconn, assembler of Apple iPhones, announces launch of electric vehicles

Could the pre-existing business relationship bring about the rumoured Apple Car?
Could the pre-existing business relationship bring about the rumoured Apple Car? Photo credit: Supplied

The burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market has a new player after Foxconn, the electronic giant most associated with assembling Apple's iPhones, announced three new prototype vehicles.

In a partnership with Taiwanese car manufacturer Yulon under the brand Foxtron, the company revealed a sedan, an SUV and a bus during a livestream event today.

It's part of the company's plans to become a "global next-generation automotive manufacturer" in the EV space, with Foxtron vice chairman Tso Chi-sen telling reporters he hoped by 2026 the market would be worth around a trillion Taiwanese dollars (NZ$50 billion) to Foxconn.

Earlier this month the company bought a factory in the US state of Ohio from Lordstown Motors for US$230 million to enable it to make vehicles.

The former General Motors plant will be used to manufacture the Endurance electric pickup truck for Lordstown Motors, with Foxconn also scheduled to make cars for another EV company, Fisker.

With an already close business relationship with Apple, there is also certain to be speculation this could help realise the Cupertino-based tech giant's plans for a long-rumoured Apple Car.

The three EVs announced were branded the Model C, Model E and Model T, although that's unlikely to be their final names given Ford owns trademarks for the latter two and had already denied Tesla's plans to release a Model E.

Foxconn SUV
Photo credit: Supplied

The Model C is an SUV designed to sit seven people that will accelerate from 0 - 100km/h in 3.8 seconds. The battery promises to allow it to travel around 700km before charging.

It is scheduled for release in 2023.

The Model E is a luxury sedan jointly developed with Italian design company Pininfarina, aimed at businesses and high-end consumers. The rear seat will transform into a mobile office, with smart applications allowing facial recognition door opening and smart windows.

The Model E boasts a 750km range and is said to go from 0 - 100km/h in 2.8 seconds.

Foxconn bus
Photo credit: Supplied

The bus, known as the Model T, has already undergone more than 200,000 km of endurance testing and 1000 hours of safety testing.

The battery is designed to withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius and have a range of more than 400km.

It will be launched in several cities in Taiwan next year.