Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, announced on December 16 that its EV Kit will be officially unveiled in January 2021. The kit, which contains the tools for building an EV based on the MIH Open Platform, will then be available for order next February and ready for delivery at the end of next April.
Foxconn introduced its MIH Open Platform this October with the aim of capturing a sizable chunk of the EV market. Since then, more than 200 companies have joined the MIH Alliance that will be providing software interfaces, hardware specifications, and system architectures for the platform.
When the MIH Open Platform was first presented at Hon Hai Technology Day on October 16 of this year, Foxconn stressed that it seeks to address three major challenges confronting traditional car makers in their efforts to build EVs. These three challenges are high development cost, long development period, and lack of technological resources. To expedite the development process, Foxconn has created an open-source platform that all carmakers can adopt and modify. Foxconn has also established the MIH Alliance and recruited more partners by releasing the technical specifications of the platform. Ultimately, the alliance will form an EV industry ecosystem with all the required hardware and software elements.
The MIH Open Platform is touted to have four core features that set itself apart from the proprietary platforms of other EV developers. First, the MIH Open Platform is modular, scalable, and customizable. Therefore, it can be adopted for many vehicle types including sedan, SUV, MPV, etc. Second, the MIH Open Platform has a lightweight chassis with a unibody design. This reduces vehicle parts and improves vehicle performance. Third, the MIH Open Platform has its own architecture for electronic, electrical, and automation engineering. This facilitates seamless integration of various hardware and software systems. The fourth core feature is the support for autonomous driving technologies. The MIH Open Platform is a drive-by-wire platform, so it controls vehicle operations electronically.
True to its spirit of openness, Foxconn has been sharing R&D results related to the hardware and software of the platform since the announcement of the MIH Alliance on October 16. Its efforts have attracted many partners from various sectors around the world. According to its recent press releases, the alliance now has 201 members.
The EV Kit that has just been revealed will be officially launched next January. The kit will allow carmakers to modify the platform to suit their needs. The ordering and shipping of the kit will commence next February and April respectively. Also, the MIH Alliance will begin providing software interfaces, hardware specifications, and system architectures in the near future.
At Foxconn’s first quantum technology forum that was held this December, Foxconn chairman Young Liu said that the purpose of the MIH Open Platform is to lower the entry barrier to the EV market for electronics manufacturers. It has not been developed for any specific company in mind since building an EV industry ecosystem will require efforts of many actors in different sectors. That being said, Liu would like to invite Apple and its partners to join the MIH Alliance as well.
(Photo credit: Foxconn.)