Apple doesn’t just want to enter the electric vehicle (EV) market, the technology giant aims to start cranking out battery-powered iCars within five years.
At least, that’s what unnamed sources tell Bloomberg, which on Thursday published a report stating that Apple plans to be manufacturing its own EV as early as 2020.
Bloomberg said the rumored timeframe for an Apple car “underscores the project’s aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors and General Motors, both of which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000.”
Apple hasn’t admitted that it has a team working on any sort of automotive project beyond CarPlay, the company’s software platform for linking iOS devices with in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Nevertheless, the rumor mill has been burning up with speculation that Cupertino is in the early stages of developing its own line of automobiles.
This comes amidst reports that Apple is prepping a Street View rival after minivans leased to Apple, equipped LiDAR sensors and cameras, were spotted driving in Claycord, Calif. Others speculated the vehicles were self-driving car prototypes.
Some industry watchers have also guessed that Apple may try to skip the years-long EV development process and attempt to acquire Tesla, the rock star of the growing electric car market. If successful in that bid, Cupertino would bring back into the fold some 150 Apple workerswhom Tesla reportedly poached recently.
Of course, Apple, like many tech companies, explores a multitude of technologies and product lines without ever making them to sell. Even if Cupertino has a team working on an EV project, it doesn’t mean the company is necessarily committed to getting into the car business.
Meanwhile, former GM CEO Dan Akerson recently expressed skepticism that Apple could pull of a viable automobile.
“I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here. If I were an Apple shareholder, I wouldn’t be very happy,” Akerson told Bloomberg this week.
Source: PC Magazine