Apple’s global battery development chief has left the firm for Volkswagen. Soonho Ahn was poached by Apple from Samsung in 2018 and is rumored to have been working on the long-fabled Apple Car before his departure. This comes only around 2 months after the man in charge of the Apple Car project, Doug Field, left for Ford.
Ahn has extensive experience working on battery tech and was a top executive at Samsung SDI’s next-generation battery division before joining Apple. Whilst it's possible Ahn was only working on batteries for Apple’s mobile devices and laptops, given the recent urge to push “Project Titan” forward its highly probable he had some impact on the development of the Apple Car.
Currently Apple aims to launch their EV in 2025. Meanwhile, Volkswagen aims to build six battery factories across Europe between now and 2030. VW wants to become the world’s largest EV manufacturer, bettering the likes of Tesla and SAIC Motor in terms of global sales.
When asked back in October whether Apple wants to develop batteries and screens in-house, the firm's CEO Tim Cook stated the following:
"I wouldn’t want to rule anything out. It’s more of whether or not we see our way clear to doing something that is materially better"
It will certainly be intriguing to see if the Apple Car will actually be here in just 4 years. The loss of key personnel will surely have a major impact on the project's timeline. What are your thoughts on what you've heard so far? Would you consider a car made by a tech firm? Let us know what you think in the comments below.