TF Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo has corroborated reports that Apple and Hyundai are working together on an electric car. In a research note quoted by AppleInsider, Kuo says that Apple’s first car will be based on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform for battery-powered electric vehicles.
The E-GMP platform was announced late last year and is expected to be the basis for Hyundai’s electric cars from this year on. Hyundai claims that E-GMP vehicles can theoretically get over 500km (310 miles) in range on a full charge, with the battery able to reach 80 percent capacity in 18 minutes via fast charging — though individual vehicle performance would of course vary based on design.
Kuo claims that the first Apple car will be produced together with Hyundai, but other vehicles involving collaboration with GM and PSA are also a possibility, and Apple will have to make use of automotive partners’ supply chain resources. Hyundai is said to be “taking the lead in component design and production” on the first car, while its smaller subsidiary Kia will be responsible for producing vehicles in the US.
Last month Hyundai confirmed local reports that it was in talks with Apple before walking back its statement. “We’ve been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs,” read the statement’s final version. “No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”
Reuters recently reported that Hyundai leadership was “divided” on the prospect of an Apple partnership. “We are agonizing over how to do it, whether it is good to do it or not,” an unnamed executive was quoted as saying. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others. It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results.”
Kuo believes that the earliest possible date for an Apple car to hit the market is 2025.