Tesla Motors isn’t the only tech company with an interest in electric vehicles, and will soon be joined, at least in China, by tech company Foxconn.
Even if you don’t know Foxconn itself, you might know some of their products, as Foxconn is a major producer of electronic components for Microsoft, Sony, Amazon, and Apple. Actually, Tesla Model S owners touch a Foxconn product every day when they use their cars, because that big beautiful touchscreen console is also made by Foxconn. Foxconn has already branched out into electric vehicles, assembling battery packs for the BAIC E150 EV, in China, part of an electric vehicle rental service that should be up and running this month.
Taking its experience with BAIC for the last few months, Foxconn plans on making its own electric vehicles for the Chinese market. The aforementioned BAIC E150 EV, for example, is powered by a 45 kW electric motor generator, and the 25.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack gives it a range of about 90 mi (150 km). The BAIC E1250 EV, launched earlier this year, starts at $20,300. Affordability is something that many prospective electric vehicle buyers come up against, no matter how low emissions and refueling costs are, but Foxconn’s newest venture, marked by an $811 million investment, might turn that notion on its head.
Foxconn already has plants in China, assembling smartphones, robotics, and automation equipment, and will soon expand into electric vehicles. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou says his company is shooting for a sub-$15,000 electric vehicle for China, but hasn’t released any details on size, power, range, charging capability, technology, etc. At less than $15,000, however, I can’t imagine that this will be a Tesla Model S rival for style, power or range, but this might be the right time to bring in a short-range electric vehicle. Seeing as China has mandated government vehicle purchases must include 30% electric vehicles by 2016, this could be a good business move for Foxconn.
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