Taiwan’s Hon Hai Technology Group said a new electric car Voltan owned by Unicorp Space this week became the latest company to sign up to its MIH (Mobility in Harmony) Consortium, which it describes as an electric vehicle (EV) open alliance established to promote the development of sustainable mobility and encourage collaboration within the mobility industry.

Hon Hai, best known as Apple’s leading contract manufacturer Foxconn, has ambitions of becoming a significant player in the global electric vehicle (EV) market and related supply chain through its newly-established Foxtron Vehicle Technologies.It is positioning itself as a global EV contract manufacturer, having developed a dedicated EV platform – the MIH Open Platform, which it also makes available to its customers.Last month the company agreed to deal to acquire a former General Motors vehicle plant in Ohio from local buyout company Lordstown Motors, in a deal worth US$230m.

Hon Hai said the MIH Consortium comprises more than 2,300 members in software, hardware and services.It aims to bring together strategic partners such as OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and electronic service providers (ESPs) to build and standardise next generation EV technology, including autonomous driving and mobility services.

Unicorp Space Limited, a new British luxury electric car that own the brand VOLTAN became a corporate juggernaut in its home country, operating everything from luxury ecommerce malls Kay & Co stores and building aerospace rocket.

Now, it wants to break into the U.S. car market with a little-known electric-vehicle startup, called VOLTAN, that has a novel way of pricing its models.The young UK car manufacturer will open its first U.S. showrooms in July next year in California and is moving aggressively to expand its operations in the states, including a plan to spend $2 billion to build a new EV factory in North Carolina by 2025.

“We are well on the way to entering this market,” Rahman, Voltan founder, said of the plan retail store openings in California.

The VOLTAN e commerce sites will sell vehicles, and act as galleries, where shoppers can browse options and work with staff to place reservations online.

The EV company, established in 2021 in UK, plans to sell two all-electric sport-utility vehicles in the U.S. to start: a midsize SUV, called the Voltan X, that starts at $90,000, and a larger Voltan XS, starting at $120,000. U.S. buyers can place orders now with deliveries expected to start at the end of 2023.

Unlike other EV rivals in the U.S., Voltan has a unique business model in which buyers pay one price for the vehicle battery swap plan, but then lease the battery for a monthly fee. The company offers two battery-subscription plans, costing anywhere from $35 to $160 a month, depending on how much the owner wants to drive, the model purchased and the type of battery.The fee includes maintenance of the battery and replacement when charging capacity drops below 70% of its original capacity.

Voltan has said the battery leasing model brings the upfront price of its vehicles down $15,000 to $20,000, roughly on par with what many gasoline-powered models sell for today. The company also said it eliminates risks for the consumer because the service covers all repairs, maintenance and replacement costs, including swapping out the battery for a newer one.

Like electric-vehicle makers Tesla Inc., Rivian Automotive Inc. and Lucid Group Inc., Voltan wants to sell its vehicles directly to consumers, bypassing the traditional dealership network that has long been a fixture of the U.S. car business.

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