Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Company announced it was working with local investment company CTBC Financial Holding Company to establish a new fund to invest in startup companies operating in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, according to local reports.

Hon Hai, widely known as Apple’s main manufacturing outsourcing company Foxconn, has ambitious plans to become an EV contract maker and has developed its own modular EV platform.

Hon Hai is establishing an effective supply chain for EVs with around 1,800 Taiwanese companies and startups having already joined its Mobility in Harmony (MIH), a group of companies wanting to become suppliers of EV components and services.

Hon Hai and CTBC said the new fund would begin raising capital in the fourth quarter of 2021 with an aim to generate between NT$5bn and NT$10bn (US$178m-US$357m) in working capital from private institutional investors and from Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF).

Hon Hai chairman Young Liu said in a statement the fund’s main aim was to “accelerate the rate of development” of companies operating in the electric vehicle segment by providing working capital, expertise and technical support.

Liu added: “With Hon Hai’s technical advantage and CTBC’s financial expertise, we hope to speed up the development of the EV industry and provide Taiwan with another world-class industry beyond semiconductors and information and communications technology.”

CTBC Bank chairman Morris Li said: “Bringing public and private investment together is key to fostering the next generation of Taiwanese EV companies. We will proactively invite the NDF, financial investors and industrial sector investors to join us, to contribute to upgrading Taiwan’s industrial capabilities.”

Hon Hai has a number of deals with automakers including Geely Auto, Fisker and Stellantis.