California start-up Independent Electric Vehicles (Indi EV) has signed a deal with Foxconn to produce prototype versions of the Indi One, a new crossover SUV, at the electronics giant’s Ohio factory.
The deal means the Indi One, which opened for customer orders at the New York motor show earlier this year, will be built alongside a host of other electric cars including the upcoming Fisker Pear, Foxconn’s own Luxgen n7 and Model B, and the Lordstown Endurance pick-up.
“The Indi One is a unique vehicle, and it demands the highest quality of automotive craftsmanship as well as consumer electronics manufacturing and engineering,” said Shi Hai, Indie EV founder and CEO.
“Partnering with Foxconn, the world’s leader in consumer electronics, during this exciting time in their entry into electric vehicles means that Indi One drivers will lead the way into the future of personal transit.”
The first Indi One has been reserved by William Bridge, CEO of sustainability NGO Global Green USA, whose star-studded honorary board includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Yoko Ono and Robert Redford.
Indi EV was founded in 2017 and has been developing the One – which is sized between a Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model X – for more than three years. Prototypes are being tested ahead of a planned start to production in mid-2023, with crash testing currently under way. Indi EV will build the car in the US, with several sites reportedly under consideration.
The base-model One, with a 75kWh battery and an estimated 230-mile range, will retail at $45,000 (about £34,000). A $69,000 (£52,000) premium model gets a 95kWh pack and 300 miles of range.
It will be sold initially in North America but most of the One’s systems have been designed for global homologation, according to head of design Andre Hudson. It’s intended that the car will reach European and Asian markets at a later date.
Key to the premium model is a high-powered Windows computer known as the vehicle integrated computer (VIC), which is clearly visible through a panel in the bonnet. It’s central to the One’s positioning as a "digital toolbox".
As Hudson puts it: “We believe that the future of EV technology is going to be measured more in processing power than horsepower.”