Rumors of an Apple Electric Vehicle Intensify

By Paul Riegler on 20 February 2015
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DSC_0763Apple, notorious for being one of the most secretive tech companies, may be planning to build an electric vehicle that would become available by the year 2020.

The veil of secrecy was pierced last week when the Wall Street Journal ran a story about Project Titan, an EV project that hundreds of Apple employees are working on. Since then, news of Apple’s recruitment of automotive industry experts has surfaced and, according to a court filing, electric-car battery maker A123 systems sued the computer company for poaching some of its top engineers with the goal of possibly creating a battery division.

According to the lawsuit, “Apple is currently developing a large-scale battery division to compete in the very same field as A123.” A123 makes hybrid batteries for BMW and General Motors, among other automakers.

Other companies that lost employees to Apple include Tesla, Ford, GM, MIT Motorsports, and General Dynamics.

Apple has not acknowledged the existence of the project, but the rumor mill has suggested that the car may resemble a minivan and might support autonomous driving.

At least one van with special equipment atop the roof and registered to Apple has been spotted driving around California. Various sources opined it could either be an early Apple car prototype hidden under the body panels of another vehicle, or it could be a vehicle Apple is using to update its map database.

There is no guarantee that Apple will see the project through to fruition. The project is in its early stages and it could be discarded if it doesn’t pan out.

On Wednesday, retired General Motors CEO Dan Akerson warned Apple to steer clear of the car business. “They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that,” he told Bloomberg News in an interview.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)