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Apple’s electric car may use a battery design never seen before

Published Aug 10th, 2016 4:15PM EDT
Apple Car
Image: Apple

Whether or not an Apple branded car ever hits the road remains to be seen, but there’s no denying that Apple has been pouring millions upon millions of R&D dollars into exploring the feasibility of developing an electric car.

Over the past few months, Apple’s car team has ballooned to nearly 1,000 members. In turn, Apple over the last year and a half has hired a number of venerable auto industry veterans with deep experience across all facets of the car development and manufacturing process. Because Apple is particularly interested in developing an electric car, the company has specifically brought on a number of engineers with expertise in battery related technologies.

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With that in mind, the Korean-based ETNews is reporting that Apple recently inked a deal with an unnamed South Korean battery company as part of its ongoing interest in bringing an Apple-branded car to market. Intriguingly, the mysterious company is reportedly made up of about 20-25 employees who are said to be “expert technologists in batteries.” Even more intriguing is that the company is said to be perfecting a new type of innovative battery technology wherein the batteries themselves are hollow at the center.

Because batteries create most heat from the center due to chemical reactions, this company has created batteries where air flow and cooling are smooth in the center of batteries and this can minimize installation of separate cooling device or a device that prevents over-heating. They are also advantageous in high output. By utilizing this space, it is easy to design parallel connection, which is to expand battery capacity, in these batteries.

Apple did not choose standardized circular or rectangular batteries that are widely used for current electric vehicles, but it is planning to develop its own independent batteries for electric vehicles based on this Korean company’s hollow battery technology.

“Because we made a NDA with Apple, we cannot discuss any information regarding this project.” said a high-ranking official from this Korean company.

Notably, Apple recently brought back longtime executive Bob Mansfield to lead up Project Titan, lending even more credence to the notion that Apple is dead serious about entering the unforgiving and cutthroat auto market.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long 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.