Apple may start building and selling a car within the next four years. According to Reuters, the vehicle may (or may not) use self-driving technology developed by Apple, and it may (or may not) involve a “breakthrough” battery design that would be cheaper and provide longer range than current technology.
Reuters says that Apple is working on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry, which is cheaper than battery cells that use nickel manganese cobalt chemistry. In July of this year, Tesla announced it would switch to this chemistry for Chinese-built Tesla Model 3s by the end of 2020.
Reuters also says that Apple’s battery design “bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials.”
However, Apple declined to comment to Reuters, and the publication’s sources are all anonymous.
It is well-known that Apple has had a team working on automotive technology for some years now under the moniker Project Titan. In 2015, we heard that Apple had several hundred people working on an electric car project. The following year, Project Titan was in trouble, we were told, and scaling back. More layoffs came in early 2019, but several months later news broke that 1,200 Apple staff were still on Project Titan, which was looking for lidar sensors. However, the California-based tech company remains tight-lipped on exactly what Project Titan involves.
Other consumer electronics companies have also dipped a toe into the electric vehicle arena recently; the star of this year’s CES was undoubtably Sony’s Vision-S concept car, which was meant to showcase different technology competencies from throughout the company.