Tired of all the Apple Watch threads how about an Apple car thread?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2015
Seriously haven't worn a watch for fourth years now, however I drive A car/truck nearly every day, so let's just say a mythical Apple car is more interesting!

So to get started what do you guys think will be the power source, batteries of conventional design, flow batteries or possibly fuel cells?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11

    I don't see Apple building a car.  I could, rather, see Apple partnering with Tesla in some fashion.  

  • Reply 2 of 11
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    I don't see Apple building a car.  I could, rather, see Apple partnering with Tesla in some fashion.  

    Why partner with them when you can use whatever tech they develop?
  • Reply 3 of 11

    I'd like a petrol/electric hybrid with iPhone/iPad integration using physical controls. A hatchback. 1,000 miles to the gallon. 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds. $30,000.

  • Reply 4 of 11

    I think Apple is preparing to sell an electric car that never needs charging.

     

    This is based on Disclosure made on May 09, 2001 at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

  • Reply 5 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    I don't see Apple building a car.  I could, rather, see Apple partnering with Tesla in some fashion.  

    What is interesting is that less than a day after I posted this AppleInsider has ran a piece on project Titan. I really don't know if Apple is or isn't building its own car but one thing I'm certian of is that the industry needs a company like Apple throwing money at the electric car industry to spur innovation. Most of that innovation needs to be realized in the form of power sources as that is what limits electric cars so much. If there is one thing obvious about Apple it is that they aren't affroad to think different when it comes to batteries.

    In the sense of an electric car though I hope that they don't think different too much. The last thing we need is an electric car with the batteries built in such a way that they can't be switched out when needed.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    I'd like a petrol/electric hybrid with iPhone/iPad integration using physical controls. A hatchback. 1,000 miles to the gallon. 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds. $30,000.

    A hybrid would be nice. One thing that bothers me about electric cars is that it gets real cold around here in the winter. As such an electric car needs a battery that performs well when temperature drop below -20°F. If not a hybrid makes more sense especially when you need to pump out lots of thermal energy to keep the windshield defrosted and the driver above freezing. Most battery solutions simply don't cut the mustard in these conditions.

    As for a hatchback design, that might make a lot of sense as done right it can become a utility car for many different interests. Make it big enough for a surfer or skier to strap stuff to the roof. Oh and a hatchback doesn't need to be a sub compact car. One of the reasons I drive a pickup right now is that Detroit still designs them with enough room inside for a large guy. Try getting into most small cars or SUV's and driving safely if you wear size 16 shoes, it is even worst in the winter if you wear size 16 insulated boots. I can't even consider a standard in most cars.

    My fear is that Apple deigns a beautiful car that I can't fit in. I remember going to the Saturn dealer when they first came out, tried to sit in one and it simply didn't fit. I couldn't even sit up straight without my head bottoming out on the roof of the car. Just as well as the Saturn turned out to be another GM piece of junk.

    So maybe a cross between a hatchback and a Mini van. Something that appeals to more than the micro chick magnet cars on the market. Something that easily accommodates people taller than 6 ft easily and still feels roomy.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    I'd like a petrol/electric hybrid with iPhone/iPad integration using physical controls. A hatchback. 1,000 miles to the gallon. 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds. $30,000.




    A hybrid would be nice. One thing that bothers me about electric cars is that it gets real cold around here in the winter. As such an electric car needs a battery that performs well when temperature drop below -20°F. If not a hybrid makes more sense especially when you need to pump out lots of thermal energy to keep the windshield defrosted and the driver above freezing. Most battery solutions simply don't cut the mustard in these conditions.



    As for a hatchback design, that might make a lot of sense as done right it can become a utility car for many different interests. Make it big enough for a surfer or skier to strap stuff to the roof. Oh and a hatchback doesn't need to be a sub compact car. One of the reasons I drive a pickup right now is that Detroit still designs them with enough room inside for a large guy. Try getting into most small cars or SUV's and driving safely if you wear size 16 shoes, it is even worst in the winter if you wear size 16 insulated boots. I can't even consider a standard in most cars.



    My fear is that Apple deigns a beautiful car that I can't fit in. I remember going to the Saturn dealer when they first came out, tried to sit in one and it simply didn't fit. I couldn't even sit up straight without my head bottoming out on the roof of the car. Just as well as the Saturn turned out to be another GM piece of junk.



    So maybe a cross between a hatchback and a Mini van. Something that appeals to more than the micro chick magnet cars on the market. Something that easily accommodates people taller than 6 ft easily and still feels roomy.

     

     

    Volkswagen do a hatchback/estate, which sounds similar to what you describe. I'm sure Apple could design a more elegant one.

  • Reply 8 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    The only real challenge with the car is the power source, everything else is ok although perhaps streamlining the manufacturing is something Apple could improve.

    I think a hybrid design should be done in a way that the standard fuel engine is used to charge the battery rather than move the car. This way even when the car is idling, the standard engine is charging the car and there would be no unevenness in the ride and it should be more efficient with the burning as the engine would be running at the most optimal rate. I think this already exists in a hybrid car somewhere.

    It wouldn't have to be a particularly large engine either, a 100 horsepower engine is 75kW and the Tesla battery is 85kWh so it could charge it almost entirely in about an hour. This engine is what's in a Fiat 500. Half the engine size/power and it'll take 2 hours to charge etc. All while you get the same torque as a supercar.

    That would help adoption a lot because you'd always be able to get fuel even though most of the time you'd just charge it via a plug.

    The fast battery tech from storedot is another thing that can help:

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/storedot-has-improved-its-impressive-30-seconds-to-charge-phone-battery-1279917

    The Tesla chargers take hours to charge. They have a 22kW charger but that's still about 4 hours. At home, an 11kW model is 8 hours. Perhaps they can experiment with putting generators on the wheels to push electricity back into charging the battery while driving that kick in going downhill and decelerating. That must be able to push efficiency up a bit.

    Supposedly batteries improve capacity by double every 10 years. If they keep improving, they could well hit a point where the batteries can simply be lifted out of the car or rolled along like luggage. They could even be in slices that perhaps slide out the middle of the car and you just switch them at a charging station for a small fee and it wouldn't have to be special stores, any old supermarket could have them. They could have a dedicated person pulling the battery slices out for you.

    Apple would really just be another player but if they had a nicely designed car, they could add something to the industry and they have the capital to drive a fast rollout to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Marvin wrote: »
    The only real challenge with the car is the power source, everything else is ok although perhaps streamlining the manufacturing is something Apple could improve.
    Yep! I've worked in automation for years where electric motors of all types abound. As such I've often dreamed of the day when a battery powered car would be feasible.
    I think a hybrid design should be done in a way that the standard fuel engine is used to charge the battery rather than move the car. This way even when the car is idling, the standard engine is charging the car and there would be no unevenness in the ride and it should be more efficient with the burning as the engine would be running at the most optimal rate. I think this already exists in a hybrid car somewhere.

    It wouldn't have to be a particularly large engine either, a 100 horsepower engine is 75kW and the Tesla battery is 85kWh so it could charge it almost entirely in about an hour. This engine is what's in a Fiat 500. Half the engine size/power and it'll take 2 hours to charge etc. All while you get the same torque as a supercar.
    The big problem is that current batteries don't accept charge as fast as would be ideal. That is the focus of a lot of research right now.
    That would help adoption a lot because you'd always be able to get fuel even though most of the time you'd just charge it via a plug.

    The fast battery tech from storedot is another thing that can help:

    http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/storedot-has-improved-its-impressive-30-seconds-to-charge-phone-battery-1279917
    There are alternatives out there that might gain some traction. Flow batteries are one example which are sort of like a fuel cell.
    The Tesla chargers take hours to charge. They have a 22kW charger but that's still about 4 hours. At home, an 11kW model is 8 hours. Perhaps they can experiment with putting generators on the wheels to push electricity back into charging the battery while driving that kick in going downhill and decelerating. That must be able to push efficiency up a bit.
    Not a problem for a commuter car, a big issue for more general uses.
    Supposedly batteries improve capacity by double every 10 years. If they keep improving, they could well hit a point where the batteries can simply be lifted out of the car or rolled along like luggage. They could even be in slices that perhaps slide out the middle of the car and you just switch them at a charging station for a small fee and it wouldn't have to be special stores, any old supermarket could have them. They could have a dedicated person pulling the battery slices out for you.
    That would be one way to solve the problem but it would require a battery form factor that gets standized and freely usable by the competition.
    Apple would really just be another player but if they had a nicely designed car, they could add something to the industry and they have the capital to drive a fast rollout to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels.
    This is the big thing - money talks.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Why partner with them when you can use whatever tech they develop?



    Because they know how to build a car better than Apple and have the infrastructure to do it more cheaply?

     

    Same reason Apple uses third party glass rather than having their own foundries and third party NAND/hard drives/RAM/GPUs (for now)/CPUs (for now), etc.

  • Reply 11 of 11
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member

    Because they know how to build a car better than Apple and have the infrastructure to do it more cheaply?
    If Apple is to make any substantial advancements with a car they would need to have design and manufacturing freedom to implement new technology.
    Same reason Apple uses third party glass rather than having their own foundries and third party NAND/hard drives/RAM/GPUs (for now)/CPUs (for now), etc.

    The difference there is Apple is buying components. Putting all of the components, that go into a car, together in a way that is salable is very difficult. Sometime to do it right you need the control. Of course that difficulty is why contracting out the build is sometimes argued to be the smart move.

    My biggest fear right now is that Apple will contract this car out to firms in China. That is far more jobs lost than what is required to build an iPhone. In fact I'd be disappointed with Apple if they ended up building an automobile in China.
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