Apple working on charging infrastructure for electric cars - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2016
Apple is talking with firms which provide vehicle charging stations and hiring engineers with experience in the field as it works on a means of charging its rumored electric car, a report claimed on Wednesday.

A mockup Apple Car design.
A mockup Apple Car design.


Apple is asking the charging station companies about the technology they use, a source explained to Reuters. The source noted that the discussions are not centered around providing charging stations for Apple employees.

Those firms are said to be wary about sharing too much information, however, since Apple could be a potential competitor.

While none of the companies contacted by Reuters would directly acknowledge dealings with Apple, the president of EVgo did say his firm was "in discussions with every manufacturer of today and every potential manufacturer of tomorrow." One anonymous engineering and construction firm has allegedly come to Apple offering its services.

Reuters noted that Apple has hired at least four people specialized in car charging, including some formerly with Google and BMW. One of them, Nan Liu, was hired in January and has previously researched wireless vehicle charging.

Charging infrastructure is a critical problem for electric cars, since while stations are becoming increasingly common in the U.S., they are still rare and people are less likely to buy an electric car if they can't be certain about driving range. California alone is expected to need as much as 25 times its current number of stations just to support 1 million vehicles by 2020.

Apple is believed to be developing an electric car for launch in 2019 or 2020, in a project codenamed Titan. It's unknown if Apple's charging technology will be compatible with other formats on the market, like Tesla's Superchargers, or if the company will push for a proprietary standard that might limit its market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,402member
    But Apple's not making a car, they're just making software for other people's cars, right?  ;)
    farmboycornchiprepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 35
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,259member
    I think we need to standardize around Tesla's design since it's already out there.  I guess different gas stations could have different connectors, but that is just going to increase the cost and uncertainty of adoption.
    propodlostkiwibadmonkrepressthisanton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 35
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,517member
    The charging infrastructure is a big deal and Apple ought to take the lead and get all partners, competitors and authorities. There is no point it 'going it alone' here. This is so fundamental to the future of personal travel and to the business models of all electric vehicle manufacturers.
    I am just thinking aloud and not suggesting Apple is planning to go it alone and offer a superior solution only for cars at the expense of themselves and everybody else. If any single company is big enough to take on a 'management' role here, it is Apple. 
    cali
  • Reply 4 of 35
    prokipprokip Posts: 129member
    Here we go again.  Different charging standards for different vehicles.  Aargh !!!  Do these goons know how to share technology so we the consumer don't get screwed... again.
    fotoformatrepressthisboopthesnoot
  • Reply 5 of 35
    stephanjobsstephanjobs Posts: 257member
    Look AI, I like you. But please TAKE DOWN that stupid God awful Apple Car "mock up". It's a joke. No seriously, somebody (most likely an apple Hater) made it as joke. Why can't some one just photo shop a tesla with an  on it?? Anything is better than that POS 
    edited May 2016 rogifan_newmike1palomineai46linkmanchiarob53baconstangnolamacguybadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 35
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,402member
    prokip said:
    Here we go again.  Different charging standards for different vehicles.  Aargh !!!  Do these goons know how to share technology so we the consumer don't get screwed... again.
    How do we know it will be different standards? Apple Pay doesn't use propriety standards.
    repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 35
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,302member
    So, I lease an Apple Car, I get a credit of 12,000 miles in power available at any of the Apple Stores, or any other authorized charging station, all from 100% renewable sources, and I pay for it with Apple Finance, an App on my iPhone.

    Yeah, that would work.


    slprescottai46patchythepiratejustadcomics
  • Reply 8 of 35
    am8449am8449 Posts: 340member
    How do we know it will be different standards? Apple Pay doesn't use propriety standards.
    I hope that Apple will be as successful with innovating and partnering in electric car charging infrastructure as they have been with Apple Pay. Maybe they'll figure out a way to charge their electric car without leaving the driver's seat. 
  • Reply 9 of 35
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Apple could make their own charging stations around the world.

    Look AI, I like you. But please TAKE DOWN that stupid God awful Apple Car "mock up". It's a joke. No seriously, somebody (most likely an apple Hater) made it as joke. Why can't some one just photo shop a tesla with an  on it?? Anything is better than that POS 
    You probably missed the article, it was designed by people analyzing what they know if Apple and the Car.

    I think it's a much better concept than slapping an Apple logo on a tesla. I don't believe the Apple Car would or should have an outdated design.


  • Reply 10 of 35
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 720member
    I have noticed that some electric charging stations are in prime parking spots at some retailers. So what ends up happening is that gas/diesel-only vehicles end up parked in those and shut out the ability for electric or plug-in hybrids to charge there. Retailers will have to post up "electric charging only" signs with the threat of towing (and carry out that threat) or we'll end up seeing government intervention on the issue.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,938member
    jkichline said:
    I think we need to standardize around Tesla's design since it's already out there.  I guess different gas stations could have different connectors, but that is just going to increase the cost and uncertainty of adoption.
    Isn't Elon keen on other companies making the move to electric power?  If so perhaps he'll share charging stations with Apple?
    baconstang
  • Reply 12 of 35
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,755member
    cali said:
    Apple could make their own charging stations around the world.

    Look AI, I like you. But please TAKE DOWN that stupid God awful Apple Car "mock up". It's a joke. No seriously, somebody (most likely an apple Hater) made it as joke. Why can't some one just photo shop a tesla with an  on it?? Anything is better than that POS 
    You probably missed the article, it was designed by people analyzing what they know if Apple and the Car.

    I think it's a much better concept than slapping an Apple logo on a tesla. I don't believe the Apple Car would or should have an outdated design.

    What Motor Trend knows is nothing about an Apple car. The person(s) who drew this car has no idea what Apple would come up with or if there even is a future Apple car. As for degrading Tesla for using an outdated design, when was the last time you actually saw one of those futuristic car designs actually make the market? The VW bug was a totally different design that actually sold. Beyond that, all other cars have the same basic design. I wouldn't be caught dead in the MT design even if they gave me one for free. Many people are simply looking for the best vehicle to get around in, not something that looks like a reject from the Jetson's.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,494member
    jkichline said:
    I think we need to standardize around Tesla's design since it's already out there.  I guess different gas stations could have different connectors, but that is just going to increase the cost and uncertainty of adoption.
    Isn't Elon keen on other companies making the move to electric power?  If so perhaps he'll share charging stations with Apple?
    He has already offered for any car company to use the Tesla superchargers, as long as they financially contribute to the maintenance and expansion of the charging network.  So far, nobody has taken him up on his offer.  I wish Apple would.  It would speed up their ability to provide a usable electric car.
    propodjustadcomics
  • Reply 14 of 35
    As long as we are still talking about *charging*, I think we are missing the point entirely. What is the main problem of electric mobility? It is range. How can that be solved? Larger batteries? Maybe. Faster charging? Probably. But wait. Is the problem really RANGE? Or is it the time it takes to CHARGE a battery? Well, the former is a result of the latter. So, why bother trying to solve the (re)charging problem? Why put up with the time it takes to complete this process? Why not just swap out the battery? Think about it. Changing a battery could be a matter of seconds if perfected. Who would care about range if all you needed to do was to drive through some battery-swapping point, pay with your Apple-ID and off you went. Apple has the resources to implement swapping (not charging) stations and to perfect the process. It is all about standards. If Apple sets the standard for swappable battery packs then other car manufacturers could participate by supporting the same system. If Apple lets them. Which they probably would have to. No point any other way, really.
    patchythepirateRayz2016
  • Reply 15 of 35
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 466member
    Look AI, I like you. But please TAKE DOWN that stupid God awful Apple Car "mock up". It's a joke. No seriously, somebody (most likely an apple Hater) made it as joke. Why can't some one just photo shop a tesla with an  on it?? Anything is better than that POS 
    I think they're taunting Apple with that photo to get them to release a hint of what it might really look like.
    cornchiprepressthis
  • Reply 16 of 35
    techlovertechlover Posts: 879member
    Could be a another use for the name "lightning connector".
    cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 35
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 466member

    quinney said:
    Isn't Elon keen on other companies making the move to electric power?  If so perhaps he'll share charging stations with Apple?
    He has already offered for any car company to use the Tesla superchargers, as long as they financially contribute to the maintenance and expansion of the charging network.  So far, nobody has taken him up on his offer.  I wish Apple would.  It would speed up their ability to provide a usable electric car.
    In a more perfect world, the U.S. govt would waive repatriation taxes on offshore money Apple would bring in to invest in recharge infrastructure.
    Of course Big Oil would kill that before the ink dried on the proposal.

    patchythepiratecornchip
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Makes sense if they're really building a car. One of the problems with EVs is the lack of charging station/infrastructure.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 50member
    There are already two level 3 charging standards, CHAdeMO and CCS. All Apple has to do is ask the CHAdeMO Quick-Charging Association or the Charging Interface Initiative to get more information. Tesla is a member of both organizations.
    radarthekatrepressthis
  • Reply 20 of 35
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    jkichline said:
    I think we need to standardize around Tesla's design since it's already out there.  I guess different gas stations could have different connectors, but that is just going to increase the cost and uncertainty of adoption.
    You don't seem very familiar with Apple's modus operandi.  When they introduce an electric vehicle, it will have a non-standard charging port they own the patents for.  You will be obliged to fill it up at Apple charging stations where you will be charged extra to do so because of the significantly higher quality of the electricity provided.

    Should you wish to charge your Apple car from other sources, you will have to buy dongles at $2890 each.  You would probably need at least 2; one for domestic charging and the other to use 'rival' rapid charging stations.
    edited May 2016 gatorguydasanman69repressthis
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