Foxconn may (or may not) produce EVs at its Wisconsin facility

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn recently revealed it is considering its Wisconsin facility to produce its first electric vehicle. The international electronics juggernaut is strategizing for contract manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America. The company’s president recently told the media that Foxconn is debating between its Wisconsin facility or one of its plants in Mexico to produce EVs for clients.

Foxconn is an established contract manufacturer of electronics with nearly 50 years of experience. It is generally known for manufacturing electronics for major global markets. This includes the iPhone, iPad, and Nintendo Switch. As the world looks to quickly drop ICE vehicles for electric, Foxconn has found a new pipeline in manufacturing expansion.

Last fall, Foxconn revealed it had developed a platform of open-source hardware and software for manufacturing EVs. This announcement was the company essentially joining the EV party and bringing snacks for everyone. Per the NYT, Foxconn also stated it is working to develop a solid-state battery by 2024.

Just last month, reborn EV startup Fisker announced plans to work with Foxconn to manufacture an electric vehicle. The two companies signed an agreement to begin jointly producing EVs in 2023. Furthermore, Foxconn already began projecting manufacturing volumes of 250,000 EVs a year. This week, President and Chairman Young Liu told reporters that Foxconn had not yet decided where it will manufacture the vehicles for Fisker or any other potential clients.

Foxconn’s open source MIH EV platform

Foxconn will reveal plans for Wisconsin by July

While the electronics behemoth remains tight-lipped about where it will manufacture its first electric vehicle, Liu has narrowed the list down for us. Foxconn will either utilize its facility in Mount Pleasant Wisconsin or one of its plants in Mexico. A lot will depend on the feasibility of a Taiwanese company building products in a complicated US manufacturing economy.

Foxconn broke ground on the Wisconsin facility in 2018, before any public admissions of EV manufacturing. The facility was originally built to produce flat-screen TVs, but that never happened. So far, Foxconn’s footprint in Wisconsin has only produced masks to aid in shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even worse, Wisconsin agreed to pay Foxconn for up to $2.85 billion in state money for a facility that promised 13,000 jobs. That obviously hasn’t happened yet, either. As a result, both sides are currently renegotiating the agreement.

That isn’t to say Wisconsin is off the table, though. The Badger State would make a lot of sense with Foxconn working with US-based companies like Fisker… or perhaps Apple someday? Foxconn’s CEO has not revealed what the company plans to manufacture at its Wisconsin location. However, Liu did say that the public will know before July.

Foxconn Wisconsin
Construction on Foxconn’s facility in Mount Pleasant, WI

Electrek‘s take

We’ve previously covered the Fisker announcement with Foxconn and have been keeping eyes on its progress. Fisker doesn’t exactly have the most gleaming track record. Foxconn, on the other hand, is much more established as a global electronics manufacturer. Expanding into EV production makes sense, and it could help put a company like Fisker back on the EV map.

Manufacturing stateside also makes sense, especially if Foxconn plans to take on other EV clients in addition to Fisker. Our guess is they will, given their size and resources. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Donald Trump said Foxconn’s Wisconsin facility would be, “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Hyperbole aside, Foxconn has a shiny new manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant and a state full of people looking for work after a year of lockdowns. This is another reason why Wisconsin could make a lot of sense for Foxconn moving forward. We will keep an ear to the ground, so to speak, and hope the manufacturer makes its announcement before July.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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