Apple Electric Car Delivery Date Set For 2019

SEP 22 2015 BY MARK KANE 59

Tesla Motors began sales of the Roadster around 5 years after inception, and Model S nearly 5 years later.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple set 2019 as the date for first deliveries of its secretly developed electric car.

So, we are 3-4 years from the Apple EV (code-named Titan) and probably at least one to two years after the company began the project.

In the early era, Tesla needed 5 years to launch its first model, and another 5 to launch its second model.

A 600-people-strong team at Apple is to be tripled, but we still don’t know what kind of electric car Apple is developing and who will produce it (if Apple does not build its own factory).

“Gene Munster, an equity analyst with Piper Jaffray, in a Sept. 1 research note estimated Apple’s chances of making a car at between 50% and 60%. He said he expects any Apple car to have three distinctive features: a unique design; the ability to work with other Apple devices; and some autonomous capability.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Categories: General

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59 Comments on "Apple Electric Car Delivery Date Set For 2019"

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They should use their huge pile of cash and buy Volkswagen. I hear it’s going cheap!

+1
but sans the diesel division 🙂

I wonder if Microsoft will come out with a competing car. Given their record of reliability/stability, I suspect even MG would beat them in reliability.

Who can drive a Microsoft car with software updates every day without asking. :/

Well, I don’t know about you, but I disabled automatic updates and haven’t had a single one install ‘without asking’. Lots of people blame windows in so many ways, but truth is they don’t have a fecking clue how to use it.

So your proud that your computer can be hacked in a heartbeat?

More proud than you should be of your grammar.

Oh great, now we get a General Protection Fault or whatever they called it on the dashboard.

Perhaps there was a trial Microsoft patch in George Clooney’s Roadster that kept leaving him stranded at the side of the road.

But I do like this new Apple Car. Cross between a mouse and a pencil sharpener.

And a speedometer consisting of message boxes that pop up and say, “Your new speed will be 50 mph. Are you sure? [OK] [Cancel]”

Oooo! Can’t wait to buy an Apple iCar so I can get a free iPhone! Unfortunately that means I’ll be stuck on Android for another 5 years… Ah well.

I wonder when the Google Android car will come out?

I’m not convinced the will manufacture an auto of any kind. I do, however, think they will provide integrated systems for use in the automotive industry.

I can see them making a car AND software for other automakers. Electric car. The digital age. A whole new consumer product.

Looks like it will be a subcompact.

electric-car-insider.com

Funniest post of the month. Totally cracked me up.

Steve Jobs would approve of this endeavor. ICE manufacturers are panicking and will launch a worldwide anti-BEV advertising campaign.

Yea, I could imagine this advertising campaign:
“EV cars, not good for oil company, but ICE diesels cars, “ja, das gut” for germans car makers…

Similar to the muted uproar of Apple fans when ditching Motorola (Freescale) and using that horrid INTEL platform,

Apple by 2020 will ditch batteries and go ICE.

Various reports (not just the WSJ report) say that Apple is tripling the number of people working on the “Titan” project, from 600 to 1800. That makes it more plausible that Apple is actually planning to develop a production electric car, possibly in partnership with an existing small auto manufacturer.

However, from a private communication today, at least one of the InsideEVs staff is of the opinion that 1800 employees is still far short of what’s needed to develop an actual mass produced EV.

So I’m going to stick to my opinion that the Titan project is for development of some prototype self-driving cars, such as Google has, plus development of a suite of hardware and software (possibly including sensors) for self-driving cars, to be installed in cars made by existing auto makers.

However, I certainly could be wrong, and I will be keenly interested in any further news (or rumors) about the Titan project.

Historically, Apple has had very small teams of people working on projects. 1800 people might be small by auto industry standards but that’s immense for an Apple project.

The more I read the more I think its like the Motorola Rokr phone that came out in 2005. Apple will partner with someone, and do that for a generation or so, and then venture out on their own like the first iPhone.

If Apple does decide to venture into automobile manufacturing, we’ll know years in advance. Mass producing cars is a massive undertaking, involving many suppliers, thousands of employees, and huge auto assembly plants. Apple won’t be able to hide development of an Apple car as they hid the development of the first iPhone.

Articles like this one are a case in point. Even swelling the ranks of Apple Titan project employees from 600 to 1800 has been sufficient to generate a lot of articles online, including one from the high profile Wall Street Journal. By comparison, Tesla had about 12,000 employees as of June 2015, and it’s still a fairly small auto maker.

Yes but a huge part of those 12000 people are factory workers, Tesla store clerks, support, service/repair shop workers, administration, lawyers and so on. They have nothing to do with designing or developing the car.

Yes, but is even as many as 1800 employees sufficient, four years out from a planned 2019 launch date, for development of a mass produced EV? Let’s just say that someone who knows a lot about the industry is of the opinion that this number is far short of what would be necessary.

Again, this is all opinion, but I’m going to listen to the opinion of someone who knows a lot more about the industry than I do.

If Apple’s car is anything like the Rokr, I will not buy it.

They duped me into the Rokr, I ended up spiking it on a tile floor to put it out of its misery.

I don’t see why 1800 people would be too few to develop an EV. An EV is much easier to develop as you don’t have nearly as many things to think about compared to fossil cars where you have to balance efficiency, engine power and emissions standards. Many of the components of the EV drive train such as the motor, inverter, differential, reduction gear and charging are uninteresting standard components. Then we have controlling software and well… I think Apple knows a thing or two about software.

We’re also talking about developing a car, not running a massive factory. Obviously when time comes to manufacture it they will need more people but those are just assembly workers, not engineers, and can quite easily be hired en masse.

That reads very much like what Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning thought when they founded Tesla Motors. Learning otherwise was a long and painful educational experience for them. I doubt that Apple is so naive about the realities of heavy manufacturing.

You should read the Fortune Magazine article “Tesla’s Wild Ride”. It will be an eye-opener for you.

http://archive.fortune.com/2008/07/10/technology/copeland_tesla.fortune/index.htm

electric-car-insider.com

I’m going to guess that Apple will not have any trouble with 3 challenges Tesla faced in their early years (but overcame):

1) Getting top-tier suppliers to take them seriously and commit manufacturing capacity.

2) Attracting and retaining world-class talent.

3) Raising significant amounts of capital

Apple also has a decisive advantage over any other automaker in their ability to use an existing communications channel to distribute awareness / product education to millions of existing customers at very low cost.

Apple is sitting on ~ $200 Billion so I don’t think #3 is going to be an issue if they did this.

#1 But will those be local suppliers where the cars are sold, or will they source it all from China?

Build in China… I doubt they will consider anything else. Ship around the world.

They will get all the benefits of a Chinese manufacturer, and nobody will care that it is built in China (like the iPhone / iPad) who will buy it in the rest of the world.

Apple assembly happens in China, but my understanding is that most of the actual parts are from elsewhere in Southeast Asia… avoiding the problems of quality control (and outright counterfeiting of parts) in China.

Mechanical parts (as opposed to electronic parts) will be more difficult to profitably counterfeit, so perhaps a hypothetical Apple EV would have more parts actually made in China.

If Apple does decide to build an EV, and not just software and/or hardware for controlling self-driving cars made by other companies, then they very likely will assemble it in China. Why not? In addition to very cheap labor costs and a lack of environmental regulations, there is a large domestic market right there.

I don’t have any problems with making cars in China to sell to China, but if the customers are in the US, they should be made in the US.

Not to get into a long discussion about this, but there are logistical & monetary reasons it makes sense to build cars where you sell them.

Well, Nissan used that strategy, as shown by the auto assembly plant and battery factory in Tennessee. But didn’t that have more to do with monetary exchange issues than anything else? Financial matters are not my area of expertise, but my understanding is that monetary exchange favors China, not the USA.

Just as an example, i don’t have real prices for shipping container*, but if one container cost $5.000 to ship from china to US.
Example Car:
You get at a lenght of 12m maximum 3 cars inside a container, therefore it will increase the price of one car at least by $1.700.

If you ship iPhones, you probably can stuff thousands of thousands of them inside a container and increase the price per iPhone $0.10 or less. Actually Apple flies the iPhone (source: http://www.giga.de/unternehmen/apple/specials/apples-geheime-iphone-logistik-beschuetzte-container-und-volle-jets/) which is more costly and is evaluated at around $0.54/iPhone.

I think this is the main difference why it is good for cars to produce where you sell. And of course if you have a lot of parts shipped to you, to assemble them afterwars, each shipping increases the price of the final product.

*this website (http://www.kreiter.info/familie/cockeyed/inside/languages/german/container/container.htm) has prices: USA –> Europe $5.800,
USA –> Costa Rica $2.400

It cost my company $40,000 to have equipment packed and shipped to China. It all fit into 2 shipping crates.

Honesly, Apple could crush Tesla if they wanted to. With the kind of cash they have, they can blanket the world with an UberCharger system that will charge at 250kW to 500kW, and in addition buy or build any factory they want.

They already have the retail footprint around the world to display their car, and million and millions of happy, satisfied customers.

This is a real deal, and why I keep thinking that the VWs and Toyotas of the world have the same future vision of Kodak in this future world…

No question that Apple could easily move into the position of market leader in EVs if it wants to. As you say, they do have the cash to do it, moreso than virtually any other company.

But the question is this: Why would Apple want to? It has done very well, extremely well, in selling high-end, high profit margin consumer electronics. But the new car market is marked by fierce competition, thin profit margins, and the requirement for enormous capital investments. Sure, if all that cash Apple has is burning a hole in their collective pocket, they could sink it into an auto manufacturing division. But that would be a poor fit to Apple’s market strategy, and would tie up capital Apple could use elsewhere to make more profitable products.

I disagree that Apple could crush Tesla if they wanted to. By the time Apple gets their first EV together, Tesla will be on their 4th generation and will have sold hundreds of thousands of EVs to very loyal customers. Plus, they have already invested in a global charging infrastructure, unlike short-sighted ICE manufacturers.

If the Model X and Model 3 are anywhere near the quality of the Model S, Tesla is going to remain the EV market leader for quite some time. Especially, if the Model 3 is truly affordable.

Apple will need to create a ground-breaking new EV design in order to compete. Even Apple fan-boys (and fan-girls) aren’t going to pay big bucks for a commodity Chinese EV with an Apple logo and a built in iPad.

I forgot to mention the Giga-Factory, which will give Tesla a big battery cost advantage. Unless Apple has exclusive rights to an incredible new battery technology, I don’t see how they can differentiate their EV.

It is easy for Apple to crush Tesla if they want to.

Buy Tesla, close Factory. Done.

“But the question is this: Why would Apple want to?”

The why is pretty obvious. Apple needs to create billions in revenue growth and selling watches isn’t going to do it. A big-ticket item, like a car, could take Apple’s growth to the next level.

You think Apple has some magic formula to either increase auto manufacturing profit margins, or significantly decrease capital investment costs?

The chances of that are slim and none.

Tesla’s gross margins are enviable, but those are some pretty high-end cars. Apple’s best chance at high margins is to emulate the BMW i3’s construction. I’ve read that BMW can assemble an i3 in one third the time of a 3-series. I also know they save a ton of money on tooling for stamping. Maybe, that’s why Apple was talking to BMW?

One thing is for sure, auto manufacturers will have to evolve to keep up. It looks like the moat around the traditional automakers will be challenged by EV companies in the future. EVs have way fewer parts than traditional ICE cars, especially in a skateboard / CFRP design. That lowers the high-capital hurdle significantly. As soon as batteries become cheap, EV economics make a lot of sense.

Didn’t Foxconn talk about building an electric car? Seems like Apple and Foxconn might be in on this together.

Foxconn is a contract manufacturer for such things as the iPhone, the iPad, the Kindle, the XBox and the Playstation.

Foxconn recently announced plans to start manufacturing cars for the Chinese domestic market, but keep in mind that China has a large number of small auto makers, and very few large ones.

It seems more likely to me that Apple may have contracted with Foxconn to build the fleet of EV prototypes it will need for what apparently is a self-driving car project, perhaps the same sort of thing Google is doing. But Google isn’t planning to build mass produced cars, and I doubt that Apple would rest its hopes for a consumer Apple car on a startup auto maker with no track record.

If Apple does decide to move into the business of making EVs for the masses, it’s going to want to ramp up production a lot faster than a startup can handle. Those who have followed Tesla’s history know that there are formidable obstacles to ramping up production in a new auto maker, and a lot of those limits can’t be overcome even by a company with nearly unlimited cash to spend.

Yes but Tesla’s problem has primarily been cash flow, getting enough funds to take the company forward. Apple will have no such problems, they can easily piss away billions of dollars on a failed EV project. I doubt however that it will fail, Apple has an incredibly strong brand so unless they do something incredibly stupid they will be successful. Apple fanboys will buy the car in droves, they could probably sell 100k units in San Francisco alone.

You seem to be arguing that if Apple doesn’t care how much money it loses, it can market a popular car. While I agree, I rather doubt that Apple intends to move into the auto manufacturing business with the intent of losing money. A successful product is one that is not only popular, but also profitable.

Bob Lutz is not a fan of the Apple Car. Come on Bob.. embrace EVs finally. Heck, you are an executive for a plug-in truck company!

http://finance.yahoo.com/video/apple-car-gigantic-money-pit-203400367.html

I can see it now.

The picture for this article looks like a computer mouse with wheels.

Apple could always buy Tesla once the Model 3 is launched.Elon has said he wants to stay until then and I doubt he will sell before then. Timeline would put that around 2018-2019.

IDK said:

“The picture for this article looks like a computer mouse with wheels.”

Yeah, but let’s not complain about it. If we do, InsideEVs might start inflicting on us the sort of amateurish fan concept design eyesores which have littered this website’s articles on the Tesla Model ≡. The horror, the horror…

(I’d insert a smiley here, but I’m only half joking.)

I’ve heard that Apple is looking into fuel cells as well. Of course we’ve also heard of a bunch of battery engineers being poached by Apple, so this could just mean they want to hedge their bets. Or it could mean they’re working on a plug-in hybrid FCEV. I think a pure EV just sounds so much more inline with the “simple is beautiful” Apple approach to everything.

Apple appears to have good motives for bringing li-ion battery manufacturing in-house, whether or not they ever build an electric car. Keep in mind that at present, the worldwide market for li-ion batteries used in consumer electronics is far larger than the worldwide market for batteries used in EVs.

That ratio could change within a few years if the market for plug-in EVs really takes off, but it’s quite possible or perhaps even likely that the market for batteries used for stationary storage is going to grow even faster. Apple may want a part of that market, too.

Hopefully they’ll sell it DTC through their own stores or online like Tesla does. That’ll make the dealer lobby’s collective heads explode.

Yes and Apple isn’t exactly short on lobbyists either. It could be a tough match for the car dealerships.

Well, I’m done with insideevs today…those @#$%$&^%#@ video adds are REALLY irritating me – they keep restarting and scrolling the page to their location each time!! I can’t stop them!!! Whomever the sick, evil bastard is that created this type of add should be forced to browse with nothing but adds that keep redirecting you with every cycle.

I use Firefox (without any addon), not one dynamic video add. Only a static one at the end of the article and two to the right of the article. Maybe it’s your brower or a virus?

I’ll bet Apple targets urban mobility utilizing tesla batteries.

My theory is BYD will make the car and battery for Apple according to Apple’s specifications, and this will propel Chinese BYD into the US auto market in much the same way that Korean Kia was introduced into the US by making late 80’s and early 90’s Fords (Festiva and Aspire). But instead of small, cheap cars, he focus will be automotive technology (big stuff, like fully autonomous driving). The car must be a gadget for millennials to accept.

Young adults aren’t buying new cars, but they are buying gadgets. Kids find freedom through social networking instead of getting a set of wheels. But with the cell phone market fully matured, there’s no opportunity for growth. Where else to grow but in the area that US automakers have been failing with their stagnant cars: Young adults.

Good point…young adults want zero emissions, fast, hi tech transportation.