Apple Exploring Charging Infrastructure For Electric Cars

1 year ago by Inside EVs Staff 18

An Apple Car Seems More And More Of A Reality

An Apple Car Seems More And More Of A Reality

Reuters has received some inside information that Apple has been exploring vehicle charging technology and charging infrastructure. Apparently, Apple is doing research through talks with various companies and a possibility of some partnering may come out of the situation.

evGO Charging Staion (Image Credit: Inhabitat)

EVgo Charging Station (Image Credit: Inhabitat)

Nothing very specific was reported except that the discussions have nothing to do with Apple trying to provide chargers for its employees. One anonymous technician did tell Reuters that Apple was approached by his company offering charging services.

The charging service companies involved must be safe as to not say too much. If Apple does venture into the auto industry, or simply into charging, the companies will be competitors down the road. On the other hand, as Apple may be working a partnership or looking for additional hires, people and involved companies are attempting to maintain healthy relationships.

None of the companies that Reuters received information about and/or contacted have validated anything. However, EVgo‘s president didn’t say that his company is not working with Apple. He said:

EVgo is  “in discussions with every manufacturer of today and every potential manufacturer of tomorrow.”

This is not much different from any of Tim Cook’s responses when it comes to information about the Apple Car and Project Titan. Apple is unwilling to say that it is “not” building a car, and has repeatedly dropped hints that it “is”.

Charging infrastructure is one of the primary issues holding people back from EV purchases. Within the next 4-5 years, California will need to increase charging stations by up to 25% just to get by. This is based on estimates that there will 1 millions EVs to support in the state by 2020.

Aside from Apple’s “rumored” talks with charging companies, it is not a rumor that the company has hired at least four people with experience in vehicle charging technology. Nan Liu, a wireless charging expert, was hired in January and Kurt Adelberger, Google charging specialist is also on board with Apple.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Apple Insider, Hat tip to Alan!

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18 responses to "Apple Exploring Charging Infrastructure For Electric Cars"

  1. carcus says:

    Yah, doesn’t seem like going it alone for another “super charger” style network would make sense.

    Perhaps a mixed alliance including:
    EvGo — for their expertise, inner city charging, west/east coast presence
    Love’s — Highway locations

    … or just team up with Tesla ,… but I doubt that’s gonna happen.

  2. carcus says:

    But if Apple is going to focus exclusively on the autonomous/connected/ sharing end of it. Then I would think they mainly just want wireless charging networks in big cities.

    1. JyTesla3 says:

      Bravo.

  3. William says:

    Project Titan will be an amazing press release, “if” and when, Apple gets into the autonomous transportation and ride sharing business. This will be revolutionary, when ICE car ownership and, insurance for manual driving in Metro areas, will become an expensive premium to the subsidized (by group/subscriber cost sharing) EV mobility solutions.
    City and suburban EV autonomous ride/car share driving in the U.S., will become an affordable on demand market disruptor. Whom ever beats the Major automakers to this market segment, will have a significant and proportional market share in the next decade. In 2030, it will be interesting to see who the holdouts were to this disruptive emerging technology. One would think Apple isn’t going to miss the boat on this market, by any means. When Tesla Model 3 starts to fulfill orders and, ship nationwide in 2018, Apple will possibly launch the inception of their Titan project and, its scope will hopefully give the non EV car buyers/leasers, their EV transport option as well. Interesting EVolving transportation mobility solutions coming up for all commuters and drivers alike.

  4. LOL says:

    More and more companies are deducing that channeling their R&D funds into wireless charging could well be more lucrative than in battery management and chemistry. Apple has the choice of further advancing such systems by itself or simply buy out a company like Momentum Dynamics, which already have 200-350 kW cordless chargers in the works.

  5. Ahldor says:

    As much as I like electric cars I could care less about Apple. If they continue their -we know best about your preferences and we want to kill all competition-mentality I wish they go bankrupt in ten years.

    1. Alaa says:

      +1
      I also think that investors will move from Apple to Tesla.

      1. FFE1 says:

        +1 as much as I love my iphone and ipad-
        Apple is arrogant and irritating. To me they are dreaming if they think they can leverage their substantial coffers and spit out a car that can compete with Tesla. Microsoft used to think it had all of the answers too…ah yeah…keep working on it Apple – I won’t hold my breath.

  6. Alan says:

    Surely this can only be good news for all EV enthusiasts, all the big car manufacturers must know that if they don’t up their game they are going to get left behind, Tesla, Apple, Google, FF are going to force their hand to step up or loose a big slice of their pie.

    The next 5 years will probably be the most exciting the car industry has seen over 50 years.

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    They are most likely going to create their own charging standard outside of Chamo and CSS considering they are Apple.

  8. ffbj says:

    Apple: Just buy the best charging company and be done with it.

  9. Rick Bronson says:

    Charging business is exactly the same as retail gas station business.

    Utilities should have set up charging stations, but for some reason, they have not.

    Its good that Apple is setting up these stations. They can also provide chargers for the Macbooks, iPhones, iPads and all other Apple devices.

    Provide a convenience store and sell some small solar chargers, solar panels as well.

    They can make a big business out of it.
    This will provide a platform for the upcoming Apple Car.

    1. Brandon says:

      At this point the charging business is NOT economically viable. You will see outside funding of some kind.
      Here’s a good example:
      http://pluginsites.org/delaware-dc-fast-chargers-coming-to-eight-locations/

      Also, this is not saying Apple is setting up stations as you say. All they have done is hire some people and look into things it appears.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Correct. Apple is doing R&D in the area, but that’s a very long way from saying that Apple is gonna start building a network of wireless charging stations for EVs.

        Apple is in the happy position of having plenty of excess money with which to do R&D in many areas. But most of those R&D projects don’t lead to commercial products.

        And let’s keep in mind that building a mass produced car is too big a project to hide, as Apple hid its development of the iPhone. If Apple really does move to produce an iCar, we’ll know about it years before the first production unit rolls off the line.

        Apple can secretly build a small number of prototype or “test mule” EVs. But mass producing a car requires contracting with lots of parts and sub-assembly manufacturers, and hiring lots of people to work at the assembly plant. Those activities can’t be hidden for long.

  10. jmac says:

    One wonders if Mighty Apple really has the heart for the charger business. You know, digging holes in the ground for wires and building cars in factories is sort of messy and dirty. Enterprises like Tesla and Solar City may seem a bit too much like actual physical labor for people whose idea of a hard day’s work is color coordinating iPhone colors to fax to the Chinese.

  11. Steven says:

    Licensing use of Tesla’s Supercharger network would be a win-win for both parties. Apple would get access to an existing charging network that’s only getting bigger, and Tesla would get a constant cash flow.

    1. Steven says:

      I should have said “predictable”, not “constant”.

      Sorry.

  12. Alan says:

    You can just imagine that an iCar will have an iPad Pro that you dock for a centre consol to give you your sat nav, air con controls, music & e-mail etc !