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Apple's iPhone assembler agrees to help build startup Byton's electric SUV

Foxconn will help build Byton's M-Byte.

Sounds like this car is back on track after a few speed bumps.

Byton

Apple and electric cars? Yes, there will soon be a connection. On Monday, Chinese startup Byton said it signed a strategic partnership with manufacturing giant -- and Apple supplier -- Foxconn to help bring its first EV, the M-Byte, to production.

Byton made one of the biggest splashes in a long time when it revealed its electric SUV at CES 2018, chock full of technology and a massive 48-inch screen inside. The company debuted a production-intent car a year later at the Frankfurt Motor Show that kept most of the concept's tech-laden promises. Byton promised to deliver the first M-Byte SUVs to Chinese customers in 2020, but with that deadline missed, the startup says it plans to usher the first SUVs to customers in 2022.

It sounds like Foxconn is bringing a lot to the table. Byton said the company best known for building iPhones will share its manufacturing technology expertise and other "industrial resources" to bring the SUV to life. Foxconn previously revealed plans for its own electric car platform, so perhaps there might be something bigger than a simple client-supplier partnership brewing between the two companies.

When the M-Byte does hit the road, the company plans to provide two powertrain choices: a rear-wheel drive model with a 72 kilowatt-hour battery pack and an estimated 224 miles of range, and an all-wheel drive model that includes a larger 95 kWh battery pack for an estimated 270 miles of range. Byton plans to sell this machine for $45,000 to start, which seems too good to be true considering all the technology the company plans to pack into the car.

Following the first cars for China, Byton hopes to start selling cars in Europe and even the US, but considering the delays for its home market in Asia, we're likely some way off seeing the M-Byte in the western world.

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