The Apple Car was a non-starter until recently. Initially considered a front runner in the autonomous electrification of the automobile it has quietly evaporated. Rumors and leaks suggest it is back on the table after a lapse in development. The latest news that Apple has invested over $3 billion in Kia to kick start production of the Apple Car definitely puts it front and center. The EV race is picking up and if Apple with its resources decides it wants to be a player, it will be a player. So is this good or bad?
Apple wants to partner with a company that has automaker experience
Apple wants to partner with a company that has automaker experience. That’s a good thing. Making cars is a whole lot different than making cell phones. Now from South Korea’s DongA Ilbo comes verification that Apple and Kia are set to collaborate to make the Apple Car.
Apple will invest four trillion won-equal to $3.6 billion, to make its electric car. As one can imagine, Kia stock shares shot up almost 15 %. If this is a reality the expected collaboration will result in assembling Apple Cars at Kia’s West Point, Georgia, assembly plant.
Apple wants a production car on the road by 2024
Apple wants a production car on the road by 2024. It also has plans to produce 100,000 vehicles a year. Whether any of this is feasible remains to be seen. Many in the industry doubt that Apple can rush from development to production in only three years. The assumed gestation is looking to be at least five years or longer to produce an autonomous EV.
Some of what is expected to be part of the Apple Car is an advanced autonomous drive system. Monocell batteries are another key feature of the future Apple Car. This also means that the charging range will be much more than what is currently available in EVs like Tesla. Beyond its charging and autonomous features, Apple is also said to have developed smart windshield glass and automatic window tinting.
Not big news to the general public but big within the auto industry
We should know more before the end of this month. With the clout that both Apple and Kia have when talking of the two collaborating to produce an autonomous vehicle under the Apple brand, it is big. Not big news to the general public but big within the auto industry.
It also remains to be seen what the Apple Car will look like. Should Kia give Apple a hand and apply some of the Imagine Concept design language, this would be as much a looker as a cooker. At this point, everything is shrouded in mystery. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for future development news.