Published on February 16th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Apple Plans To Challenge TESLA With Own Electric Car
Apple is working on an electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter, showing that the consumer-electronics giant is open to stepping outside its lucrative focus on mobile devices. Apple has put a few hundred employees to work on the secretive project, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Apple often tests ideas that don’t get released, and the effort work may not lead to the company introducing an automobile, the person added. The project is code-named Titan and the vehicle design resembles a minivan. Some Apple executives have flown to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers of high-end cars, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Apple already has technology that may lend itself to an electric car and expertise managing a vast supply chain. The company has long researched battery technology for use in its iPhones, iPads and Macs. The mapping system it debuted in 2012 can be used for navigation.
Last year, Apple also introduced CarPlay, a software system that integrates iTunes, mapping, messaging and other applications for use by automakers. Apple has batted around the idea of developing a car for years. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, said in 2012 court testimony that executives discussed building a car even before it released the iPhone in 2007.
Mickey Drexler, an Apple board member and head of J Crew Group, also said in 2012 that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had wanted to build a car. A representative of Apple, based in Cupertino, California, declined to comment.