The Apple Car has circulated the rumor mill for years. Pundits have speculated that the company most known for its smartphones will get into the electric vehicle game in the near future. Apple has not officially announced that they are working on a vehicle, but one of the company’s biggest suppliers recently made a move that has rekindled the Apple Car rumors.
Foxconn reveals three EV prototypes. Could one of them be the Apple car?
Taiwanese technology company Foxconn is a massive electronics manufacturer that Apple uses to produce the iPhones it sells in the United States and the rest of the world. However, Foxconn doesn’t just manufacture smartphones.
The technology firm recently revealed no one, but three electric vehicle prototypes during a presentation, according to a report from Reuters. The prototypes included a bus, SUV, and a sedan. The vehicles were produced as part of a joint venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor.
As you might imagine, it is the sedan prototype that has everyone talking. Dubbed the “Model E,” the report explains that Foxconn teamed up with Pininfarina to design the prototype. The report also reveals that in its production form, the Model E will be sold outside of Taiwan by an “unnamed car maker.”
Who could the “unnamed automaker” be?
Foxconn’s business model is producing electronic components and products for other firms, so it seems that the tech company would not sell their EVs directly but instead produce them for others. The question is, what automaker is Foxconn going to produce the Model E for? Considering that they are the largest manufacturer of iPhones globally, it is not unreasonable to assume that Apple might take the Model E, change up the design and features, then sell it as their own branded EV.
Although, when considering how Apple operates regarding their other products, it seems unlikely that the company would build over an existing platform. Apple tends to be very hands-on and involved in every aspect of design and production for its products.
Perhaps these prototypes are simply Foxconn’s way of demonstrating that it is capable of producing EVs so that it can lure Apple into an agreement to co-develop a car in the future? It is hard to be sure of that, but we would not rule it out.
If Apple is not the unnamed manufacturer, then who else could it be? The Reuters report mentions that Foxconn “signed a deal” with Fisker Automotive, but it did not explain the nature of the deal. There is a possibility that Foxconn could work with Fisker to mass-produce a new EV for international markets.
Some experts believe Apple will reveal its car this year
As previously mentioned, Apple has not even confirmed that it is working on a car, but some believe that it may be revealed soon.
Prize-winning lithium-ion battery scientist Akira Yoshino believes that if Apple is working on an electric vehicle, it will likely be announced at some point this year.
“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,” said Yoshino-san.
At this point, we are inclined to believe that Apple will probably not confirm its electric car this year. The tech firm recently had a live stream event in which it showed off its new laptops with advanced “M1 Pro” and “M1 Max” processors. The event drew millions of viewers, so we think if the Apple car announcement were going to happen, it would have been at least teased during the live stream, as mentioned earlier.
Considering the global chip shortage and labor issues due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it will probably be quite some time before Apple is ready to reveal the illusive EV they’ve been cooking up in Cupertino.