Apple Looks to Move into Electric-Vehicle Industry
Apple Inc. has plans for a self-driving vehicle with its own proprietary battery technology by 2024, according to Reuters.
The plan is known as Project Titan and has been ongoing since 2014 when the company started to design the vehicle. Doug Field, a former Tesla Inc. employee, has been overseeing Project Titan since 2018.
One of the main aspects of Project Titan is the new battery design that would be cheaper and extend the vehicle's range. "If there is one company on the planet that has the resources to do that, it's probably Apple. But at the same time, it's not a cellphone," said a person who worked on Project Titan. The supply chain would be one of the main issues that could arise as the company moves further into the project.
There is no knowledge of who would assemble Apple's car. Many of the car's features will be outsourced, according to those familiar with the project.
Apple's battery design is unique. Its design attempts to pack individuals cells in the battery pack to eliminate pouches and modules that take up space. This allows more power to be put into the battery pack which would lead to longer-range capabilities. ”It’s next level," the person said of Apple's battery technology. "Like the first time you saw the iPhone."
"It would seem to me that if Apple develops some advanced operating system or battery technology, it would be best utilized in a partnership with an existing manufacturer under license," Trip Miller, managing partner at Apple investor Gullane Capital Partners, said. "As we see with Tesla and the legacy auto companies, having a very complex manufacturing network around the globe doesn't happen overnight."
"My initial reaction as a shareholder is, huh?" Hal Eddins, chief economist at Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, said. "Still don’t really see the appeal of the car business, but Apple may be eyeing another angle than what I’m seeing."