Fisker and Foxconn sign deal to build electric vehicles

Electric car startup Fisker signed an agreement with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles iPhones, to co-develop and manufacture a new electric vehicle. Production on the car, which will be sold under the Fisker brand name in North America, Europe, China and India, will begin in the U.S. by the end of 2023.

Numerous details, including the name of the car and the location of future manufacturing plants, have not been disclosed by the two companies. As for form factor, Fisker describes it as a “breakthrough new segment vehicle,” so neither a sedan nor an SUV, that’s capable of carrying five people, a Fisker spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Fisker is calling the joint program Project PEAR, which stands for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution. Fisker chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker has bragged that the PEAR vehicle will be the “next big thing in car design,” a car that’s both “emotionally desirable” and “eco-friendly,” meaning a car that doesn’t shout “Look at me, I’m electric!” and rather appeals to the driver moving over from gasoline vehicles, according to a spokesperson from Fisker

The two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding agreement in February, setting the expectation that a formal agreement would be reached by this time. Included in the agreement signed on Thursday is a goal to produce 250,000 units annually across multiple sites. In January, Foxconn partnered with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to form a joint venture that would provide car manufacturers with production and consulting services, so the deal with Fisker is one of the company’s first forays into the automotive industry.

“In order to deliver on our promise of product breakthroughs from Project PEAR, we needed to rethink every aspect of product development, sourcing and manufacturing,” said Fisker chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker in a statement. “Our partnership with Foxconn enables us to deliver those industry firsts at a price point that truly opens up electric mobility to the mass market.”

The new vehicle will be priced under $30,000, according to Fisker, who touted the uniqueness and innovation of his car’s designs. Fisker will also begin production on its first model, Ocean, an electric SUV, in Europe by the end of next year. The company also intends to release a prototype of Ocean at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year.

“We have world-class supply chains in place to support Project PEAR – in particular, securing the reliable delivery of chipsets and semiconductors,” said Young-way Liu, chairman of Foxconn, in a statement.

Liu noted how Foxconn would be able to connect Project PEAR with suppliers around the world through its software and hardware open platform for EVs, MIH, which aligns with the company’s “3+3” vision which symbolizes the infinite technological and industry advancements available through the platform.

Foxconn and Fisker are still shopping for potential U.S. manufacturing sites, so they’ve set up an office between the U.S. and Taiwan to coordinate design, engineering, purchasing and manufacturing operations.

This article has been updated to reflect new information from Fisker.