Cupertino is reportedly in “early stage talks” with two Chinese battery companies, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. and BYD Auto, about supplying batteries for an Apple car.
Apple is said to have developed breakthrough battery technology for its rumored vehicle, although it needs a third-party supplier to build these batteries. It may be one step closer to finding them.
Reuters cites four people with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations. It says it is not yet clear whether a deal will be finalized with either company. Apple may also be talking to other companies.
The report says Apple is “in favor of using lithium iron phosphate batteries that are cheaper to produce because they use iron instead of nickel and cobalt which are more expensive.” It repeats an earlier claim that Apple is looking to release its car in 2024.
Built in the USA
Apple supposedly will make manufacturing in the United States a priority for its electric car. This may be to capitalize on incentives promised by President Joe Biden, intended to bring more EV manufacturing to America.
Contemporary Amperex Technology, aka CATL, already supplies batteries for Tesla, and is the world’s biggest automotive battery producer. That would seemingly give it the right pedigree and scale of operations to supply batteries for Apple’s automotive project. However, CATL is supposedly reluctant to build a U.S. factory due to ongoing tensions between China and the United States. These tensions prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask in 2019 that manufacturers in the company’s supply chain explore options outside China.
What to expect when you’re expecting Apple car
The Apple car project has been rumored for at least half a decade now. However, it’s still not completely clear what Apple is building. At some points, it appeared likely that Apple is working on a self-driving software platform that could be licensed to other companies. At others, it seemed Apple is set on building a physical car along with the software.
Attempts to partner with an established automaker like Hyundai or Nissan previously broke down over a variety of issues. It now seems likely Apple will partner with a contract manufacturer like Foxconn or Magna International to build its vehicle.
Nonetheless, the project seems somewhat troubled. Last week, a report said Apple “lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team” in recent months. While there are hundreds of engineers working on it, multiple managers are said to have thrown in the towel in 2021 alone.
What are your predictions for an eventual Apple car? Let us know in the comments below.