Two newcomers to the electric-vehicle market, Nidec Corp. and Foxconn Technology Group’s automobile arm, unveiled an agreement on supplying electric powertrains — the collection of components including the motor, gears and drive shaft that propel a vehicle.
Nidec and Foxtron Vehicle Technologies have signed a memorandum of cooperation and will demonstrate the initial results of their collaboration in the fourth quarter, Foxtron said in a statement Thursday.
Foxtron was established last year as a venture between Taiwan’s Yulon Group and Foxconn, the world’s largest assembler of iPhones. As Apple Inc.’s electric, autonomous car project gains momentum, Foxconn, seen as a top contender for the Apple car business, has been bulking up its own automotive capabilities. Nidec, based in Kyoto, is shifting its business of making motors to supply EV manufacturers, using its years of experience making small precision motors for hard-disk drives, consumer appliances and industrial machines.
In October, Foxconn unveiled an open and customizable EV software and hardware platform called MIH. The company is inviting others to contribute hardware, software and components to the platform. The first EVs built using the platform will be unveiled by the end of this year, the Taiwanese manufacturer has promised.
Hardware for the MIH platform is already being provided by Foxtron. Bringing together Foxtron’s vehicle development capabilities and Nidec’s experience with electric powertrains will “strengthen the performance and development of the MIH open platform,” Foxconn said. They added that they’ll seek to increase the competitiveness and development efficiency of their products.
Nidec, a key supplier in the electric-motor industry, is pushing deeper into the global auto market, adding names to the roster of automakers buying its motors. That list already includes China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. and France’s Peugeot SA.
The motor maker is betting that its playbook of becoming a supplier of 85% of the world’s hard-disk drives — high-quality, precise, affordable motors — can be used to make it the world’s top supplier of EV motors. The company has pledged to spend close to $10 billion over the next five years to grab a market share of 40% to 45%.
Foxtron is working on both passenger and commercial vehicles, the Taiwanese company said, adding that it will reveal further details at a meeting of the MIH alliance held next week.
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