Elon Musk Thinks Apple Car Production Will Start By 2020


Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned Apple and Google at the 2016 Code Conference. He made it clear that he knows that Google will not become a direct competitor, but Apple’s Apple Car, although late to the game, will likely attempt to create direct competition. Musk said:

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

“Google’s done a great job at showing the potential of autonomous transport, but they’re not a car company. So they’d potentially license to other companies.”

“I think it’s great they’re (Apple) doing this, and I hope it works out. It’s just a missed opportunity. It’s a couple years…they’ll make a good car and be successful.”

Musk said publicly in January that he was sure that Apple is working on an electric car. He told the BBC:

“Well, it’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it. This is an open secret.”

The Tesla CEO furthered his faith in Apple’s Project Titan venture at the recent conference. Although he did joke as usual that Apple is the ‘Tesla Graveyard’ and that the company should have started moving sooner and should be moving faster in order to become a threat. He confirmed:

“I’d think there will be volume production no sooner than 2020. Is that too late?”

Apple has been actively hiring for the project and has “poached” quite a few Tesla employees. Some, of course, possibly recruited away from the company while others were hired not long after leaving Tesla. Reports say that over sixty former Tesla employees are now employed by Apple. Other reports state that Apple offers a $250,000 signing bonus and a 60% salary increase to Tesla employees coming over. The siuation goes both ways. Tesla has at least 150 former Apple employees on staff.

Musk has been quoted many times saying:

“They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

Musk assures that Tesla is well on its way to supreme successes. On top of being known as the company that has pulled off the long range, all-electric car, autonomous technologies are quickly becoming key for Tesla. Mention the 400,000 reservations for the Tesla Model 3, its first vehicle for the masses, and the company’s impending success seems surely imminent. Musk said:

“I think we have all the pieces and it’s just about refining those pieces, putting them in place, and making sure they work across a huge number of environments—and then we’re done. It’s a much easier problem than people think it is.”

An Apple Car in 2020 assumed by Musk or not, Tesla will still be the “first” and “foremost”. Let’s see if Apple can move forward and create some much needed “real” competition for the Silicon Valley OEM. Healthy competitiveness hopefully only leads to a better end product for both.

Source: San Francisco Times

Categories: Apple, Tesla

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19 Comments on "Elon Musk Thinks Apple Car Production Will Start By 2020"

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It seems like 2020 is about the time frame where we will hit “critical mass” in the EV sector.

If this weren’t disruptive enough, it also seems to be the same year when full autonomy will start rolling in.

Give 10 to 15 years for the “old age” vehicles to cycle out … and I wonder how much of today’s automotive world (and the world in general) will be totally changed by 2030 -2035?

I found it quite telling when someone posted, a few weeks ago, that New York City went from being a city with mostly horse-drawn traffic to mostly motorized vehicles in the space of only 10 years.

Ten years after EV sales really take off, perhaps by 2030, we may well see nearly every public parking space be within reach of an EV slow charger. And despite what many naysayers keep saying, that will almost certainly include curbside parking in residential areas with no off-street parking.

Yeah, pretty much all car manufacturers have plans to release 200+ miles (sometimes 300+ miles) EVs by 2018-2020. When it comes to fully autonomous, I think it’s still far off. People have always overestimated how quickly AI will develop, in the 60’s people thought we would have humanoid robot servants ‘any day now’ because of AI rapidly advancing. Well it turned out that it wasn’t really advancing that fast after all.

It’s “easy” to do autonomous driving in perfect conditions – following well visible road markings, keeping the distance to other cars and making lane changes on the highway – however having it handle pretty much any situation is far more difficult.

…It’s “easy” to do autonomous driving in perfect conditions – following well visible road markings, keeping the distance to other cars and making lane changes on the highway – however having it handle pretty much any situation is far more difficult…

Same goes for human drivers. So the question comes down to what/who makes the least mistakes in driving.

scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!)

My moneys on Tesla.


Your money may be on Tesla. But Apple has PLENTY of money to throw at this project.

Yeah Tesla would love to have access to 200 Billion in capital.

And I am sure Apple would love to have the $3.2B back that it spent acquiring Beats Audio.

It is not only how much money you have but how you spend it.

Essentially, Tesla spent ~$400M developing Model S. GM spent $1.2B developing Volt 1.0 .

Just last month Tesla had a secondary equity offering oversubscribed at $1.7B in a matter of days.

Tesla is not capital starved.

Another guy who probably didn’t read Beat’s revenue numbers for headphones when Apple bought them, and Apple got streaming and execs for free (cherry on top).

Buying a growing company at 3x revenue and with profits is bad in your opinion?

So you would drive an Apple car?

It’s funny how Musk’s famed, shall we say, “optimism” regarding ship dates does not apply to any of Tesla’s competitors.

True but Musk will supply those dates for other companies too.

Regarding the plan for an Apple Car, Elon Musk is quoted as saying:

“I’d think there will be volume production no sooner than 2020. Is that too late?”

I always find it odd when anyone claims that a product entering the market at any time will be “too late”. How is it ever “too late” if you have a superior product to sell? Was the Tesla Model S “too late” when it went on sale in 2012?

Was it “too late” in 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone? Did the then-current market leader, Blackberry, stop Apple from selling iPhones? What nonsense!

What may make it too late is if you do not have a product which is significantly better, or sold at a lower cost, than current offerings. Especially if your product is judged inferior and/or priced higher than products from current market leaders. Like, for example, the Apple III or Apple Lisa computers.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” –attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think Apple is targeting San Francisco hipsters with their car so my guess is that it is a fairly small, compact car suitable for inner city traffic with tons of gizmos. It probably comes with a proprietary charging solution as well with an Apple charging network that will probably be quite expensive but only use renewable energy.

Yuk, when you describe it that way it makes me definitely not want one.

Warrior needs Model 3, badly! (Obscure Nintendo reference shows my age 🙂

Apple = Proprietary everything. This is why I’ll never buy ANY Apple product again! One ignorant purchase and I learned my lesson permanently. I won’t be locked up in their prison again.

There will be a few new players in the electric car market, but we will also see some old one close, like Toyota that wont touch the electric car…

Apple Fanboys vs Tesla Fanboys. Talk about a clash of the titans.

I remain unconvinced that Apple can introduce a new groundbreaking product without Steve Jobs. They sure haven’t yet and it isn’t for a lack of trying. The Apple Watch was an all in effort and it’s just kind of lame.

I say this as someone who has used Macs since the 80s.