We’ve keep hearing about Apple’s super-secret electric vehicle, but this Apple car news is different. Capitalizing on everything Apple knows about developing, manufacturing, and marketing, could all come together to offer a compelling EV. But it has been in development for many years and appears to have had a lot of starts and stops. Now rumors are swirling around talks between Apple and EV startup Canoo.
Those talks center around Apple buying Canoo. Just last week Canoo revealed ominous numbers in its quarterly reports. Basically, it said that it is quickly running out of cash. Yet, it also says there is $600 million that is “accessible” to ramp up its vehicle operations.
Would the Apple car just be a Canoo EV?
Apple, for its part, may not be interested in Canoo’s vehicles. Instead, according to Bloomberg, it wants the engineers at Canoo, not its technology. Yes, Apple has also been working on autonomous systems through its artificial-intelligence projects, so it is staffed with talented personnel.
But as Bloomberg notes, every new product sector it chooses to enter has involved company acquisitions. That has, at least partially, been the case with the iPhone interface, Siri, Apple Music, Touch ID, Apple Maps, and macOS. And it has happened already for autonomous developments with the buyout in 2019 of Drive.ai.
And it has recently snagged a long list of top managers from the automotive sector. These include recruiting from Ford, Rivian, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Waymo, and more. With the acquisition of Canoo, it could greatly expand its auto expertise.
What kind of expertise could Canoo talent bring to the Apple car?
Quite a bit, as it turns out. Canoo has a staff that includes interior and exterior designers, software, automotive manufacturing, drivetrains, battery technology, and components. And Apple already has some Canoo talent including Ulrich Kranz, who has one of the top spots overseeing Apple’s car ambitions. He was the former chief executive officer for Canoo.
So it all seems to fit rather well together. And Bloomberg says Canoo and Apple had merger talks just two years ago. It also looked at investment in the EV maker, back when its outlook was far rosier. But now, some Canoo personnel are leaving the company because of its not-so-bright outlook.
Canoo is struggling
As for Canoo, its warnings last week signal a struggling company. It has developed an EV platform to allow for many different vehicles. This has been in development for over five years.
The company was thought to be close to starting production of its Lifestyle van. It is also working on a commercial delivery truck. But now it says it could run out of money this quarter. So the timing couldn’t be better for a company like Apple to provide a lifeline for the core of the startup’s employees.
At this point, these are rumors, but they just seem to fit so well that investors are paying attention. We should know more by June as Canoo’s Q2 numbers become clearer.