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Apple’s mythical electric car is real – here’s when it’s coming

Published Jan 11th, 2021 9:00AM EST
Apple Car Hyundai Motor
Image: Apple

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  • Apple may partner up with Hyundai Motor to help it manufacture a brand new electric car.
  • Apple’s long-rumored EV may arrive as early as 2027.
  • Rumor has it that Apple is currently working on next-gen battery technology that will blow away the competition.

One of the reasons why many people assumed Apple would never enter the auto industry is because the infrastructure required to manufacture cars at scale is immense. We’re talking about massive factories, assembly lines, and a ton of advanced robotics and machinery. And as we saw with the buildout of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, building and staffing such a facility is incredibly expensive and resource-intensive.

Apple, though, may have found a way to enter the automotive industry and avoid some of the aforementioned challenges above. This past Friday, a representative from Hyundai Motor said that the company was in talks with Apple about partnering up for EV production and battery development.

What’s more, the representative confirmed that Apple has been having similar discussions with several other automakers.

“We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor,” the representative said to CNBC a few days ago. “As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided.”

Following that, Reuters picked up a story from the South Korean-based IT News which claims that Hyundai Motor and Apple are gearing up to embark on an official automotive partnership in the near future. The partnership will reportedly see Hyundai help Apple launch a self-driving car by 2027. Early production, meanwhile, is tentatively slated to begin within the next three years.

Rumors of Apple designing its own car have been making the rounds for more than six years at this point. The initiative was reportedly plagued by a number of delays and technical hurdles in recent years, with some reports claiming that Apple completely axed the program a few years back.

More recently, reports have indicated that Apple shifted the focus of its car-development efforts to AI-based systems. Back in December, Bloomberg reported that Apple put John Giannandrea, the company’s AI and machine learning executive, in charge of the Project Titan team.

As to what an Apple-designed car might bring to the table, well, that’s anybody’s guess. There have been rumblings, however, that Apple is developing next-gen battery technology that, according to one person familiar with the company’s plans, will be “like the first time you saw the iPhone.”

Lastly, one interesting tidbit that emerged in recent weeks is that Elon Musk, back when Model 3 production was hitting a few snags, tried to set up a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss selling the company.

“During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value),” Musk said last month. “He refused to take the meeting.”

If Apple ever had an inking to acquire Tesla, it certainly missed its chance. When Tesla first announced the Model 3, Tesla shares were trading in the $45 range. Nearly six years later, Tesla shares are trading at $880, giving the company a market cap of $834 billion.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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