Apple Is Searching for a Key Partner in Its Quest To Build an Electric Car

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Rumors have spread over the past several years that Apple wants to build their own electric car. The tech giant has made key hires from the automotive industry, but it was unclear whether they were developing software, parts, or an actual car.
CNET reported that the company is discussing a potential deal with a large electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer in China. With the active pursuit of batteries, it is now clear that Apple wants to make its own car.
Charging space with a white electric vehicle symbol painted on green asphalt.
Apple has plans to join the electric car market | Twenty20

When did Apple start working on their own car technology?

According to Bloomberg, in 2014, Apple created “Project Titan” that would focus on building an autonomous electric car. The project was filled with all kinds of issues from leadership to technical challenges.
Doug Field and his team of engineers had originally worked day-to-day on Project Titan. Field reported to Apple’s former senior vice president of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield. Mansfield retired from Apple in 2012, but the company brought him back to lead the project.
Mansfield worked for less than a year as senior vice president of chip technology, before he left the role and stayed as a part-time consultant. Artificial intelligence executive John Giannandrea became the new leader for the self-driving car unit when Mansfield fully retired in 2020.

Who is Apple discussing with to help build their Apple Car?

Apple is in talks with two of the biggest battery manufacturers: CATL and BYD. Rather than using batteries that rely on cobalt or nickel, Apple plans to design a battery that uses lithium-phosphate which is cheaper and uses iron. This is different from lithium-ion which is being used for most EVs.
With layoffs across car manufacturing factories and supply issues, it’s a challenging time for Apple to produce its own vehicle. But CNET reported that it’s pretty likely that an Apple Car is on the horizon. Simply put, if Apple just wanted to work on car software, they wouldn’t need to purchase car batteries.

When will the Apple Car be available?

If a partnership is formed, CNET reported that Apple wants the manufacturing to be done in the United States. This may delay the development of Project Titan. CATL is reluctant to build a new U.S. factory among the current tensions between the U.S. and China.
The release date for an Apple Car, or a publicly-available prototype of one, is still uncertain. CNET noted that analysts think a 2024 to 2025 timeline is the best estimate.
Apple’s ambition and tech expertise could lead to the production of an exciting, popular new electric car model. The Apple Car might involve the self-driving technology that Project Titan is working on.
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