Foxconn and Fisker in Talks About Affordable EV Production in Wisconsin

As you’ve probably noticed, EV production has stepped up at a rapid pace lately. Technology for these vehicles has also seen some cool developments, like the new ultium battery inside the Cadillac Lyriq. As battery technology improves, we could see EVs with more driving range than a Tesla Model S.

Green Car Reports says that two popular companies, Fisker and Foxconn, also have plans for an electric vehicle. However, some are hesitant to trust Foxconn after its past controversies. Will the supposed collaborative EV ever make it to market?

What are Fisker and Foxconn?

The Hon Hai Group Foxconn logo atop the headquarters building in Taipei, Taiwan
The Foxconn logo | Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Fisker has been in the automotive game for a while, gaining popularity after producing the Fisker Karma in 2012. It’s capable of 403 hp and 240 miles of range, which is even still impressive by today’s standards. However, production quantities were minimal, with only 2,450 units built in total.

The automaker will make its grand return with the Fisker Ocean SUV. This vehicle also features an electric powertrain capable of up to 300 miles of range. According to Fisker, production on the Ocean will begin in November of this year, with a competitive MSRP of $37,499.

Foxconn is a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, most notably producing computer chips and other processing components. It’s also well-known for being one of Apple’s oldest parts suppliers. However, Foxconn has been the subject of controversy in recent years, particularly in Wisconsin. 

It was here that Foxconn planned to establish a massive LCD factory that would create 13,000 jobs. It cost $400 million to build, but the structure is largely deserted. Only 281 people are actively employed at this location. Workers have complained about a toxic work environment and overtly greedy business practices from Foxconn itself.

The factory only produces small LCD screens instead of the large-scale ones originally planned. Foxconn even promised to build ventilators during the height of the pandemic, which also never happened. According to CNBC, Foxconn has drastically reduced its funding for this facility. You can read more about the situation on The Verge.

Fisker and Foxconn’s new EV

In May, both companies reached an agreement to develop an SUV that will cost $30,000. Production is planned to start in late 2023 in a Wisconsin factory. Again, Foxconn has promised that this will bring plenty of new jobs to the local community and improve its economy, with some residents yet again wary if that will happen.

Foxconn will do its part supplying LCD screens and other advanced computer components for this new SUV. According to Hindustan Times, Foxconn aims to have its technology in 10 percent of EVs worldwide in the coming years. 

Recently, Foxconn also created its own open platform for EV production, plus a new battery technology initiative. The company claims that it can make solid-state batteries widely available by as early as 2024.

So far, the only commercial vehicle with this type of battery is the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro bus. Solid-state batteries on electric cars generally last longer and can be recharged at a quicker rate. The company Rivian also wants to produce EVs with solid-state battery options, possibly for its Amazon delivery vans.

Is there hope for this new EV deal?

Justifiably, both EV fans and Wisconsin workers are hesitant to put faith in a venture that involves Foxconn. The LCD factory scandal isn’t Foxconn’s first instance of an unfulfilled promise. We’re still waiting on its contribution to the Apple car or the $15,000 electric car it would supposedly release in China.

Fisker itself also hasn’t had the best luck regarding EV production. The Karma’s limited availability was caused when its battery supplier went bankrupt, putting Fisker in some financial trouble as well. For the sake of Wisconsin, we hope that both Foxconn and Fisker will deliver on these new EV talks.

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