Japanese Partners Ready Compact EVs

Consumer electronics giant Funai Electric Co. is teaming with startup Fomm Corp. to develop a compact electric sports car and a semi-amphibious mini-EV designed to drive through flooded areas.

The Japanese partners plan to launch the vehicles in southeast Asia, starting this spring with the amphibious city car. The sports car could bow as early as next year.

Dubbed the Fomm One, the amphibious car will be built at the Fomm facility in Bangkok, Thailand. The vehicle was unveiled in concept form (right) in 2014.

The vehicle’s waterproof battery is designed to be swapped for another unit when it is depleted for recharging separately. The expected driving range between charges is about 100 miles.

The companies showcased a concept of the sports car (left) at last month’s CES electronics show in Las Vegas. The vehicle features FOMM’s in-vehicle motor technology and Funai’s latest touchscreen display, infotainment, audio, lighting and sensor technologies.

Last year Fomm announced an alliance with Fujitsu Ltd. to develop a cloud-based system to track and manage battery capacity and charging facilities. Fujitsu is leading the initiative through its Spatiowl big data network.


Founded in 1961, Funai sells televisions and other consumer electronics under the Philips, Magnavox, Sanyo and Kodak brands. The company’s U.S. subsidiary is the main supplier of electronics to Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.