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Foxconn-led Mobility in Harmony Consortium Announces ‘Project X', an Open, Modular Electric Vehicle Platform

Foxconn-led Mobility in Harmony Consortium Announces ‘Project X', an Open, Modular Electric Vehicle Platform

Author: Eric Walz   

Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which is best known for assembling tens of millions of Apple products including the popular iPhone, has unveiled a new electric vehicle platform that can help automakers to more easily enter the competitive EV market.

On Tuesday, the Foxconn-initiated Mobility in Harmony Consortium (MIH Consortium) announced "Project X", which is an open and agnostic EV platform.

The MIH consortium was established in 2020 by Foxconn to promote a global set of open standards for the manufacturing of electric vehicles. The consortium has over 2,000 members from 65 countries, including Microsoft. The goal of the organization is to bring partners together to build the next generation of EVs, autonomous driving technologies and mobility service applications. 

The EV platform is intended to lower the barrier for companies entering the electric vehicle market, by making it for them to customize electric vehicles based on their needs. The MIH just released the Project X timeline and exterior design for the first time of a compact, three-seater demo car that is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2023.

After the 'A segment' EV platform, the MIH plans to release a six-passenger and nine-passenger vehicle platform in the coming years. It will provide EV manufacturers with additional vehicle segment choices to help foster innovation in the EV segment.

MIH says the modular EV platform enables innovators to create the future of mobility with an open EV ecosystem with its Build Your Own Vehicle ("BYOV") model. 

With modular design approach and standardized interfaces, Project X EVs can be designed and built with in less time and at lower costs. Its a similar strategy being used by legacy automakers General Motors and Volkwagen. GM's EVs, including the new battery-powered Chevy Blazer, are being built on its Ultium EV platform. While Volkswagen is using its MEB EV platform for its future electric lineup. 

Foxconn says the platform will be ideal for designing and building commercial vehicles for ride-share companies, mobility service providers, fleet operators and new EV brands that don't have their own manufacturing plants.

"MIH is writing the next chapter of the future of mobility. Project X is a demonstration of a new EV platform for the ecosystem. We're not only making cars but also enabling the creation of more lifestyles," said Jack Cheng, CEO of the MIH Consortium. "Project X's goal is to develop the world's most iconic open EV platform for the innovators, by the innovators."

MIH is inviting its MIH members to participate and co-create this platform in the early stage of vehicle development and is implementing technologies developed by the MIH Working Groups, including powertrains, battery systems, battery swapping technology and electrical and electronic architectures (EEAs). 

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Jack Cheng, CEO of the MIH Consortium announces Project X at a member event.

The announcement of Project X is part of Foxconn's recent push into the EV space. Although the contract electronics manufacturer is Apple's manufacturing partner and has assembled hundreds of millions of products in China for the technology giant, Foxconn is looking to diversify its electronics assembly business, including building electric vehicles for other companies, which are becoming more like "smartphones on wheels". 

Foxconn announced in Oct 2020 that it aims to provide components or services to around 10% of the world's EVs between 2025 and 2027. Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way also said that the company is in talks with multiple automakers to reach that goal.

EV startup Fisker Inc, entered into a MOU with Foxconn in Feb 2021 to build its second vehicle called the PEAR, which stands for "Personal Electric Automotive Revolution". The Fisker PEAR will be fully revealed in the second half of 2023 and will enter production at an Ohio factory owned by Foxconn in 2024. The plant in Ohio was once owned by General Motors.

Fisker says its collaboration with Foxconn in Ohio is poised to "revolutionize the traditional automotive business model" by introducing Foxconn's efficient manufacturing capabilities to electric vehicle production at scale. 

This efficient method of manufacturing can help smaller companies like Fisker to design and produce a new electric vehicle in as little as two years, which is unpreceded speed in the auto industry.

Development of the PEAR with Foxconn is well underway, according to Fisker. The Fisker and Foxconn teams are fully engaged and expect to build a minimum of 250,000 Fisker PEAR units a year at the plant after a ramp up period.

Foxconn aims for its electric vehicle production to become a $35 billion business by 2026. The company's Chairman Young Liu said in 2020 that the $35 billion target is a goal the company "must achieve."

With Project X, Foxconn is moving closer to its goal.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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