Apple’s electric car project seems poised for a return, and the tech giant reportedly has a target release date in mind. Inside sources reportedly familiar with the matter informed Reuters that Apple’s automotive project will involve an all-electric passenger vehicle fitted with some self-driving technology and breakthrough battery innovations.
This is not the first time that reports of an “Apple Car” project has emerged. Since 2014, reports spread about the tech giant’s “Project Titan,” which involves the company designing its own car from scratch. Apple eventually took a step back from Project Titan and decided to focus on in-vehicle software instead. Things looked up for Project Titan in 2018, when Doug Field, who worked at Tesla, returned to oversee the project.
According to Reuters’ sources, Apple has made some progress on its electric vehicle project since then. And this time around, the tech giant is reportedly focusing its efforts on innovations that could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and increase range. The publication’s sources noted that Apple plans to utilize a “monocell” design that bulks up individual cells in the battery to optimize space inside the pack.
This concept seems to be quite similar to Tesla’s strategy with its 4680 tabless cells, which are built into the frame of its vehicles. Apple’s monocell batteries do not require pouches or modules, allowing the company to place more active material inside the battery pack.
As for the chemistry of the cells, Apple is reportedly looking into the use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are low-cost and notably safer. LFP batteries are currently used in Giga Shanghai’s Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.
The sources were optimistic about the project. “It’s next level. Like the first time you saw the iPhone,” the publication’s source said. They also noted that the new electric car project has a tentative 2024 release date, though COVID-related delays can push this back to 2025 “and beyond.”
Despite Apple’s extensive experience as a manufacturer of consumer tech, the automotive sector is a completely different beat altogether. With this in mind, the tech giant is reportedly looking to rely on a manufacturing partner to build its vehicle. The sources did note that there is still a chance for Apple to simply go the software route for its automotive efforts, with the company only releasing an autonomous driving solution instead.