The Apple Car has been rumored for longer than we can remember. For some reason, the idea of a company known for making smartphones and pricey computers getting into automobiles excites a lot of people. For their part, Apple has generally denied that they are exploring EVs or avoided the question entirely.
Yet, it seems that a few times a year, some new information surfaces or a comment is made that throws Apple right back into the EV rumor mill. This week the talk of the Apple Car was reminded by an interview between Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino and Reuters. Yoshino-san won the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with lithium-ion batteries, which helped make the power source more viable for widespread use in EVs.
This is how we know there is an Apple Car coming
According to several news reports and enthusiast outlets, Apple began working on something internally called “Project Titan” back in 2014. It was widely believed that Project Titan was the codename for the Apple Car initiative. Apple did not publicly confirm or deny Project Titan’s existence, but they did make several moves to strongly indicate that an EV was in the works.
Apple allegedly hired over 1,000 automotive experts, which is a move bound to raise some eyebrows. Some could argue that those automotive experts were brought on to work on Apple’s “Car Play” smartphone software interface and the recruiting has nothing to do with manufacturing a car.
Eventually, Apple wouldn’t be able to hide their hand any longer as manufacturing and testing a car requires many permits and paperwork filed with state and federal agencies. In 2017, Apple filed for a permit with the state of California to test autonomous vehicles on public streets.
That is a bit harder for Apple to explain away, so they just refuse to acknowledge it, which is probably a smart move on their part.
At the same time, the adoption rate of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is growing rapidly and if Apple wants to get in on it, they need to make its intentions known soon.
Scientist Akira Yoshino thinks the Apple Car will be revealed this year
During the interview mentioned above with Reuters, the outlet asked Akira Yoshino what we collectively should know about the future of mobility. It was Yoshino-san’s response that is what got everyone talking.
“Right now, the auto industry is thinking about how to invest in the future of mobility. At the same time, the IT industry is also thinking about the future of mobility. Somewhere, sometime, with the auto industry and the IT industry, there is going to be some kind of convergence for the future of mobility.” Said Yoshino.
“Tesla has their own independent strategy. The one to look out for is Apple. What will they do? I think they may announce something soon. And what kind of car would they announce? What kind of battery? They probably want to get in around 2025. If they do that, I think they have to announce something by the end of this year. That’s just my own personal hypothesis.”
Could Yoshino-san’s “personal hypothesis” be correct? We are more than halfway through the year, and Apple is set to announce a new iPhone in September. Could the “one more thing” moment during the iPhone reveal be the Apple Car?
It would be one heck of a mic-drop if that turned out to be the case. For now, any possibilities of an Apple Car reveal can only be chalked up to speculation.