Auto tech maker Continental wants to partner on rumored Apple Car

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
If Apple is in fact building an electric vehicle, German automotive company Continental hopes it will have a chance to partner on the final product, the company's CEO publicly said.




Unlike traditional automakers such as Ford, GM or BMW, which would compete with a hypothetical "Apple Car," Continental doesn't see any full-fledged automobiles. Instead, the Hanover, Germany-based company specializes in supplying parts and technology for vehicles.

And if Apple is indeed making a car, Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart hopes his company can become a technology partner, according to Reuters. The comments came during his company's quarterly earnings conference call Thursday morning, during which he admitted Continental "would be interested" in partnering with Apple on a vehicle.

"Apple has an excellent reputation on information and communication systems, and has incredible financial strength," Degenhart said.

Continental is comprised of five divisions: chassis & safety, powertrain, interior, tires, and "ContiTech," which specializes in rubber and plastics technology. The company began business in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer.

With respect to electric vehicles, Continental has worked on energy storage systems utilizing Lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems. That's the same company that recently sued Apple and accused it of unfairly recruiting its employees, though settlement talks are currently underway.

Though it's involved in electric cars, Continental may not make money in that market for "at least" three to four years, Degenhart said on Thursday.

His reaction is unsurprisingly different from most traditional automakers on hand for the Geneva Motor Show this week, who have been characterized as "concerned" about Apple's possible entrance into the market.

Rumors of Apple's top-secret Apple Car lab heated up last month when mysterious vans stacked with what appears to be high-tech surveying equipment were spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though those vehicles are likely for mapping efforts, subsequent reports have indicated that Apple is separately working on an electric, potentially self-driving car project that could hit the market by 2020.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,580member
    Good tire company.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Please make a hybrid, not an electric, Apple; we're begging you!
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Please make a hybrid, not an electric, Apple; we're begging you!

     

    You are begging them, speak for yourself not the phantom "we."

  • Reply 4 of 13
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Good tire company.

     

    Yes. But that's only one part of their business. From my end they are known more as a supplier of components/modules to vehicle manufacturers. Not as well known in the public as someone like Bosch or Valeo, but still significant.

     

    Dunlop is another company that makes a lot of automotive components but is mainly known for tires.

  • Reply 5 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,892member
    Yes. But that's only one part of their business. From my end they are known more as a supplier of components/modules to vehicle manufacturers. Not as well known in the public as someone like Bosch or Valeo, but still significant.

    Dunlop is another company that makes a lot of automotive components but is mainly known for tires.

    It is all quite fascinating. I never gave it much thought till this. The whole way cars are made is going to become far more well know over the next few months I suspect. That said when my Jeep Grand Cherokee needed a new AC, thankfully under the full manufacturer warranty, I was told mine was made during the days Daimler was involved and the AC and many other parts were far more expensive on my model than the days before and since Daimler's involvement. I now assume this was because Daimler used its own suppliers of such items which sounds nice on the surface ... not that that made the German company supplied AC last 3 years LOL!
  • Reply 6 of 13
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

     
    not that that made the German company supplied AC last 3 years LOL!


    Their AC will last forever in Germany, not so much in Florida... :D

  • Reply 7 of 13
    hanmanhanman Posts: 11member
    Rename Tesla to Apple Lectra S
  • Reply 8 of 13
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Please make a hybrid, not an electric, Apple; we're begging you!



    Hydrogen/electric could be interesting, good power, fast recharge.

  • Reply 9 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,892member
    mstone wrote: »
    Their AC will last forever in Germany, not so much in Florida... :D

    That's a good point ... :D I discovered during this experience (and not a lot of people know this ...) Jeep offer (or did when I bought mine, no idea if this is still the case) a lifetime factory warranty exclusively in Florida and Hawaii and it can even be sold on with the vehicle once to the next owner. I can only assume the lack of salt on the roads is the key factor here?
  • Reply 10 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,892member
    Please make a hybrid, not an electric, Apple; we're begging you!

    Electric and what though? The entire point is to stop burning fossil fuels surely? Hydrogen might be nice if they find a highly efficient way to generate it in the first place.

    That said 100% electric will be fine one day soon, through advanced tech, by making batteries half the weight and twice or more as long lasting and use less no rare earth metals. Nano technology seems to hold some promise it seems I see reading Ars Tech site.

    Of course we need to create more power in the grid to charge them from alternative sources in the first place. One way I'd suggest is removing the 'protect the utilities' laws like we have in Florida where home owners can't generate and power at home get credits for surplus fed back into the grid. If every roof top in Florida had efficient solar panels I am pretty sure we could generate quite a bit of power!

    Elon's home version batteries will help too, so we can even store excess to use at night or on the 5 dull days a year (Sorry England). ;)

    BTW: It seems to me new roofs should be manufactured with solar tech in the first place, i.e. the very tiles themselves somehow, not have it strapped on, especially where there are potential hurricanes.

    I am willing to bet on this ... One day in the not so far off future, the idea of using gasoline/petrol in a vehicle will seem as antiquated as a kerosine/oil lamp does today.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Please make a hybrid, not an electric, Apple; we're begging you!

    Electric and what though? The entire point is to stop burning fossil fuels surely? Hydrogen might be nice if they find a highly efficient way to generate it in the first place.

    That said 100% electric will be fine one day soon, through advanced tech, by making batteries half the weight and twice or more as long lasting and use less no rare earth metals. Nano technology seems to hold some promise it seems I see reading Ars Tech site.

    Of course we need to create more power in the grid to charge them from alternative sources in the first place. One way I'd suggest is removing the 'protect the utilities' laws like we have in Florida where home owners can't generate and power at home get credits for surplus fed back into the grid. If every roof top in Florida had efficient solar panels I am pretty sure we could generate quite a bit of power!

    Elon's home version batteries will help too, so we can even store excess to use at night or on the 5 dull days a year (Sorry England). ;)

    BTW: It seems to me new roofs should be manufactured with solar tech in the first place, i.e. the very tiles themselves somehow, not have it strapped on, especially where there are potential hurricanes.

    I am willing to bet on this ... One day in the not so far off future, the idea of using gasoline/petrol in a vehicle will seem as antiquated as a kerosine/oil lamp does today.

    Hydrogen and electric sounds promising.

    I don't think we disagree on the principle so much as the timing. The problem with electric is not just the battery, it's the infrastructure. That's the real stumbling block. It's all very well if you can get to 500 miles on one charge, but you need to have the same convenience of recharging as fossil fuels have today. That would be a huge undertaking and is why I don't see it happening in the near future. I think we're still decades away for 100% electric to come about. Hybrid just seems more likely.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,892member
    Hydrogen and electric sounds promising.

    I don't think we disagree on the principle so much as the timing. The problem with electric is not just the battery, it's the infrastructure. That's the real stumbling block. It's all very well if you can get to 500 miles on one charge, but you need to have the same convenience of recharging as fossil fuels have today. That would be a huge undertaking and is why I don't see it happening in the near future. I think we're still decades away for 100% electric to come about. Hybrid just seems more likely.

    In the USA Elon has a pretty good set up. You can wait while they charge for free or have a swap out for the cost of a tank of gas (or there-abouts) in less time than it takes to fill with a tank of gas. His network of stations is pretty extensive now. If this model grows and other companies copy this model I see a bright future here at least. I assume no such infra structure yet exists in the UK? http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger
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