Foxconn begins work on a new battery gigafactory in Taiwan with the aim of becoming a major player in electric vehicles

Foxconn, which is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, opened its first battery cell factory on Wednesday (June 15) as it prepares to strengthen its presence in the global electric vehicle supply chain. (VE).

Foxconn will invest more than $200 million to build a battery cell center in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

The battery cell center – which would house research and development, as well as production – would be in the city’s Ho Fa Industrial Park and is expected to start mass production in the first quarter of 2024, Hon Hai said.

The new battery facility is part of Foxconn’s plan to build an electric vehicle ecosystem in Kaohsiung, where the company is also setting up facilities for electric bus assembly and energy storage systems.

The company will test production of lithium iron phosphate batteries – the same type of battery as Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd.

“We plan to build a localized ecosystem for the battery supply chain, from materials to battery cells and batteries, in Kaohsiung,” Foxconn Chairman Young Liu said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We hope to build a battery supply chain entirely in Taiwan, from battery materials and battery cells to batteries. We hope to localize the entire supply chain,” Liu added.

The center would have an installed capacity to manufacture 1 gigawatt hour per year of electric buses, sedans and energy storage devices.

Foxconn has already developed an open platform (MIH) for EV development, which was launched by Hon Hai three years ago, aims to reduce the time to market of EVs.

Foxconn has set an ambitious goal of capturing at least 5% of the global EV market by 2025 and generating $30 billion in EV sales. It will face stiff competition from established players like Tesla, Volkswagen and General Motors.

The company has gradually worked towards realizing its EV ambitions. It bought a factory from the American startup Lordstown Motors Corp in order to manufacture electric cars. In August, Foxconn purchased a chip factory in Taiwan to meet future demands for automotive chips.

In October 2021, the unveiled three new electric vehicle models on Hon Hai Tech Day.

Maria D. Ervin