Apple eyeing electric car production by 2020, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Adding to a firestorm of rumors surrounding Apple's supposed electric car project, a report on Thursday claims the Cupertino tech giant is gunning for a manufacturing start date of 2020.


Apple's mystery van seen up-close in California.


Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, Bloomberg reports executives are pushing internal development teams to start first production runs of an electric vehicle in five years, an aggressive goal even for established car manufacturers.

The person confirmed that Apple is hiring a specialized team for the project, supposedly codenamed "Titan," including experts in batteries and robotics, but says the number is closer to 200 people, not the "several hundred" as previously rumored.

A report last week pointed to a number of recent automative sector hires, including Mercedes R&D head Johann Jungwirth, while other recruiting efforts are focusing on engineers from electric car maker Tesla. Speculation as to what Apple has planned ranges from in-car infotainment software to a full-blown branded vehicle.

The source qualifies their claims, however, noting the secret "Apple Car" initiative could go the way of previous skunkworks programs and disappear before seeing the light of day. For example, Apple could decide to scrap the project if higher-ups don't find results meet the company's strict standards of excellence.

According to today's report, Apple could enter the automotive industry as a category disruptor, a tactic that brought unparalleled success with iPhone and iPad.

Stoking the flames is a recent lawsuit that alleges Apple poached key employees from battery maker A123 Systems, a firm known for engineering high-performance lithium-ion energy storage components for electric vehicles.

Rumors of Apple's top-secret Apple Car lab heated up earlier this month when mysterious vans stacked with what appears to be high-tech surveying equipment were spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some suspect the Dodge Caravans are testbeds for an autonomous self-driving car program, though it is more likely that the instrument-laden cars are part of an advanced mapping initiative similar to Google's Street View.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 295

    This all seems like speculation feeding off other speculation.

  • Reply 2 of 295
    jr_bjr_b Posts: 64member
    I hope it's more like a sports edition BMW with Tesla like batteries and Apple software. If it's anything like Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrsyler, it will surely fail.
  • Reply 3 of 295
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,139member

    Oh great! Apple might make a car but then again Apple might not make a car. Six more years of useless rumors to go along with the past 4 years of the Apple TV rumors we still keep hearing about.

  • Reply 4 of 295

    I wish them well.

     

    Until they can overcome the problems inherent to electric cars, they won't achieve the extensive market they have with their mobile devices.

     

    Some problems with electric cars:

     

    1. Total mileage is very limited compared to fossil fuels. You need to be able to do 400 or 500 miles on a charge.

     

    2. Charging takes ages. When you can charge in three minutes, it'll be comparable to gas.

     

    3. The battery is extremely heavy and bulky. This means that boots are tiny.

     

    4. The battery has to be replaced frequently at great expense and time. No such problem with gas.

     

    5. Where do you charge your car? In the UK, at least, this is very limited. Forget charging at home. A large proportion of people live in apartments and leave their car on the street. To my mind, this is the biggest obstacle to electric cars—there is no infrastructure, nor any easy way to solve that problem. This is why charging times need to come down to five minutes or fewer.

     

    6. Electric cars are much more expensive than normal ones. Total overall lifetime cost, as well as initial cost, is still much higher than for equivalent gas cars. There is virtually no market for them, save for small city cars, though they have become less visible in London in the past few years.

     

    One would expect Apple to build the most attractive electric car that you could wish for. If anyone can make them popular, they surely can. However, transforming the infrastructure is a monumental undertaking that is out of their hands. The only way to solve the charge problem, to my mind, is to hugely reduce the charge time. It sounds, from the recent rumours, that Apple are concentrating on battery tech. 

     

    I'd love an electric Apple Car; I guess Cook and Ive like a challenge!

  • Reply 5 of 295
    What if they can make an electric car that only need to charge once a week? That will be so brilliant.
  • Reply 6 of 295
    Get a clue, hosers! Apple is working on a TV that you can drive around like a car.
  • Reply 7 of 295
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jr_b View Post



    I hope it's more like a sports edition BMW with Tesla like batteries and Apple software. If it's anything like Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrsyler, it will surely fail.



    or something like the bikes designed for use with bikeshare programs, specialized to an urban rideshare automated system. Tap your iPhone, get an Apple Car, tap the destination on Apple Maps, get taken to the destination, electrically so no addition to the urban pollution, then pay with ApplePay.... and release the car for the next sharer.

    http://www.citibikenyc.com

  • Reply 8 of 295

    I'm betting on this being total baloney with a healthy dose of BS.

  • Reply 9 of 295
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,787member
    jr_b wrote: »
    I hope it's more like a sports edition BMW with Tesla like batteries and Apple software. If it's anything like Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrsyler, it will surely fail.

    Yet each of those manufactures has at least one excellent example of an automobile.

    The problem with making any vehicle "like" something else is that it becomes a me too product. To really upset the marketplace they need an innovative design that leaves behind old concepts of what a car is, how it is controlled by the user and the general appreance.

    Frankly 5 years is a very long time, I would expect that the likes of Ford would have several viable electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by then.
  • Reply 10 of 295
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    I'm betting on this being total baloney with a healthy dose of BS.

    You were bound to get it wrong eventually Spam. Too much smoke here.
  • Reply 11 of 295
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    I wish them well.

     

     

    Some problems with electric cars:

     

    1. Total mileage is very limited compared to fossil fuels. You need to be able to do 400 or 500 miles on a charge.

     

    4. The battery has to be replaced frequently at great expense and time. No such problem with gas.

     


    400-500 miles per charge?  I would love that, but I don't even get over 300 miles of city driving in my Honda Fit or Ford Escape Hybrid.  If they target urban drivers, then 150-200 miles is pretty good.

     

    The only reason the battery may be replaced once (not frequently) is if the car is built well enough that you can imagine another 100k miles after there first 100k.  

  • Reply 12 of 295
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ireland wrote: »
    You were bound to get it wrong eventually Spam. Too much smoke here.

    But why leak this stuff now? I don't get it.
  • Reply 13 of 295
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carson O'Genic View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    I wish them well.

     

     

    Some problems with electric cars:

     

    1. Total mileage is very limited compared to fossil fuels. You need to be able to do 400 or 500 miles on a charge.

     

    4. The battery has to be replaced frequently at great expense and time. No such problem with gas.

     


    400-500 miles per charge?  I would love that, but I don't even get over 300 miles of city driving in my Honda Fit or Ford Escape Hybrid.  If they target urban drivers, then 150-200 miles is pretty good.

     

    The only reason the battery may be replaced once (not frequently) is if the car is built well enough that you can imagine another 100k miles after there first 100k.  


     

     

    Well, about 100 miles to a charge is typical at the moment for pure electric, which is nowhere near high enough for most people. Hybrids are obviously much better.

     

    I don't buy this idea of cars just for getting around a city. If that's all you're doing, you might as well cycle, walk, or take public transport. The whole point of a car is that you need it to drive further than that, and 100 miles is extremely limiting, particularly with charging being almost impossible if you live in a city. In fact, the very people who could charge it at home are those who are more likely to be doing longer distances!

  • Reply 14 of 295
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Oh god, make it stop! Please mommy, MAKE IT STOP!!
  • Reply 15 of 295
    elroy6 wrote: »
    Get a clue, hosers! Apple is working on a TV that you can drive around like a car.

    Lmao

    Brilliant
  • Reply 16 of 295

    CBRE reports that Apple is going into home building. After their new space ship campus is finish building in 2016, they are getting into building smart homes starting in 2017. They will be using design and technology from their new campus and apply it to these new homes. The home will be connected wirelessly to the mother ship in Cupertino, CA.

     

    Above rumor has more legs than the Apple Car.

  • Reply 17 of 295
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Carson O'Genic View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    I wish them well.

     

     

    Some problems with electric cars:

     

    1. Total mileage is very limited compared to fossil fuels. You need to be able to do 400 or 500 miles on a charge.

     

    4. The battery has to be replaced frequently at great expense and time. No such problem with gas.

     


    400-500 miles per charge?  I would love that, but I don't even get over 300 miles of city driving in my Honda Fit or Ford Escape Hybrid.  If they target urban drivers, then 150-200 miles is pretty good.

     

    The only reason the battery may be replaced once (not frequently) is if the car is built well enough that you can imagine another 100k miles after there first 100k.  




    Hmm... If his problem with battery powered cars is the same problem as with battery powered phones, then it doesn't seem like much of a problem.

  • Reply 18 of 295
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Maybe Detroit can be re-purposed by 2020.

    Maybe not.

  • Reply 19 of 295
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    radster360 wrote: »
    CBRE reports that Apple is going into home building. After their new space ship campus is finish building in 2016, they are getting into building smart homes starting in 2017. They will be using design and technology from their new campus and apply it to these new homes. The home will be connected wirelessly to the mother ship in Cupertino, CA.

    Above rumor has more legs than the Apple Car.

    Then why doesn't Appe stop the insanity? They could shut everybody up in seconds with a "leak" to WSJ or Re/Code or whoever smacking down these rumors. Why is Apple allowing them to persist?
  • Reply 20 of 295
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     
    I don't buy this idea of cars just for getting around a city. If that's all you're doing, you might as well cycle, walk, or take public transport. The whole point of a car is that you need it to drive further than that, and 100 miles is extremely limiting, particularly with charging being almost impossible if you live in a city. In fact, the very people who could charge it at home are those who are more likely to be doing longer distances!


    Obviously you don't know any soccer moms.

     

    When you have a family to run, you need every minute in the day. You aren't going to wait for a bus to take the kids to school or to day care, to the dentist, grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning, take them to violin practice, volunteer at school, back and forth with errands all day and then make it home to cook dinner. A mom can drive around town all day long and not exceed 100 miles.

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