Foxconn to build its first EV battery plants in Taiwan
- As part of its aggressive push into cars, the company plans to build factories for battery packs, cells and energy storage systems for the first time at new facilities in southern Taiwan.
- The move is to create a complete local ecosystem since more countries are rushing to strengthen the resilience of their supply chains.
Since the world’s largest contract consumer electronics manufacturer, Foxconn Technology Group, had set their eyes on electric vehicles (EVs), they have not slowed down. The Taiwan-based company, which is also the biggest supplier to Apple, has been signing a flurry of agreements to secure its presence in the fast-growing EV space. Now, the company is even eyeing for more control over the supply of strategic materials relevant to EVs.
This week, Foxconn Chairman Young Liu told a news conference that the company will manufacture battery packs and cells for the first time at new facilities in southern Taiwan. Reporting on this, Nikkei also noted that the Taiwanese giant’s plan is to build factories for battery packs, cells and energy storage systems, as well as for the design and assembly of electric buses in Kaohsiung.
“Our goal is to formulate a complete ecosystem for electric buses in the city and then we can export the solutions outside of Taiwan,” Liu said. The whole point of Foxconn building battery and energy storage system factories in Taiwan is to have a complete local ecosystem.
Foxconn and its EV pursuit
For starters, Foxconn has a goal to have a 5% share in designs, components and parts in the global EV markets by 2025. The company also wants to turn its EV segment into an over 1 trillion New Taiwan dollar ($35.6 billion) business by 2026.
When Foxconn unveiled its first three prototype EVs last October. an SUV, luxury sedan and bus — made by Foxtron, its joint venture with Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motors. The company said the sedans and SUVs will be built for the company’s customers in the automotive segment instead of being sold under its own brand.
Prior to the company’s foray into the EV space, its subsidiaries have been supplying electronics to many traditional and electric carmakers, from Tesla to BMW, with products ranging from dashboard displays to printed circuit boards plus a host of mechanical and plastic parts.
As the company sets its leg into the EV space, it had the intention to expand its product set and gather broader know-how. With that, Liu signed a rash of supply deals and technology development partnerships in the past year and a half. A joint venture with Stellantis, owner of Fiat and Chrysler and the world’s fourth-largest automaker, is developing cockpit software for connected cars.
A joint venture with Geely of China, launched in January, aims to sell manufacturing and consulting services related to intelligent drive systems, software platforms and even whole vehicles. Then there were also a handful of plant plans. Last year, the company acquired a manufacturing plant from Lordstown Motors in the US state of Ohio, which the company will use to produce full-size electric pickup trucks for the American market from April 2022.
The Taiwanese giant is also building a production facility in Thailand with state-backed oil and gas company PTT to serve Southeast Asia. In China, the company is collaborating with Zhejiang Geely Holding.
Overall, Foxconn has plans to build EV factories in Europe, India and either North or South America by 2024. The plan would involve partnering with local governments or government-recommended enterprises, according to Liu.
The American plan, according to Liu, would serve the South American market with a possibility of it ending up being located in Mexico–an important hub for automotive supply chains and a key manufacturing base for Foxconn.
In February this year, Foxconn also announced that it is also building its first-ever chip manufacturing facility in India in collaboration with local natural resources conglomerate Vedanta. Prior to that, in 2021, Foxconn bought a semiconductor facility in Taiwan to gain more control over the supply of chips needed for EVs.