Apple leases ex-Pepsi factory for possible Apple Car research


Apple car concept art shows what Cupertino might put on the road.
Apple may need more space for its Apple Car project.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

Steve Jobs famously recruited then-Pepsi CEO John Sculley to join Apple with the line, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

More than 30 years later, that iconic line could be rewritten as, “Do you want to bottle sugar water all your life, or do you want to help build the Apple Car?” — because Apple has reportedly leased a former Pepsi bottling plant, which may be used for Cupertino’s rumored electric vehicle research.

The 96,000-square-foot industrial property is located at 960 Kifer Road in Sunnyvale, California, about a 10-minute drive from Apple’s current HQ at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino. There is no word on how long Apple is leasing the property for, although it has been empty since 2013.

Apple leased the property back in November, but it has only been disclosed now as part of a loan document filed with the county clerk’s office this month. It’s one of a number of buildings Apple has been moving into — including a former FedEx warehouse, a former chip-fabrication plant, numerous office buildings and several R&D labs — as the company continues to expand.

Interestingly, a resident who lives near Apple’s top-secret automotive campus in Sunnyvale filed a complaint with the city last month after being kept awake at night by really loud “motor noises” coming from the Apple campus late at night.

Tesla’s Elon Musk has called Apple’s work on a possible vehicle an “open secret” in the tech industry.

There have been conflicting reports about how far along the project is, however. Some reports have claimed that Apple is already taking meetings with California officials concerning testing — suggesting the vehicle is almost ready for public view.

Others have suggested that Jony Ive is displeased with progress on the project. Ive reportedly placed a hiring freeze on the department following news that Apple’s electric car mastermind was leaving the company for personal reasons.

Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal