Recently, a Reuters report claimed that Apple is targeting 2024 to start the production of its first electric passenger car. The product has been in development for a while now under the name Project Titan. The electric vehicle is said to be half a decade away from launching. However, this means, the Cupertino giant is actively searching for components for its next product, the Apple Car. Now, Hyundai Motor has said that it is in early discussions with Apple after Korea Economic Daily TV reported that the two were in talks to cooperate on electric cars and batteries.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussions but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement. The company did not give details about the nature of the talks with Apple. However, a few hours after that, it issued (via) another revision that omitted Apple: “We’ve been receiving requests for potential cooperation from various companies regarding development of autonomous EVs,” the latest version said. “No decisions have been made as discussions are in early stage.”
Apple is likely to be looking at partners since it doesn’t have production capabilities and sales networks to sell its cars. “Building up those capabilities can’t be done quickly so Apple will need a partner for that,” said Lee Han-Joon, an analyst at KTB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. Hyundai is said to provide Apple with a partner that’s already accelerating a push into electric and driver-less cars.
“Apple outsourcing car production to Hyundai makes sense, because (the Korean firm) is known for quality,” said Jeong Yun-woo, a former designer at Hyundai.
The South Korean company is set to introduce its first EV, Ioniq 5, built on a dedicated platform. Hyundai and its Kia unit are together planning to launch up to 23 new EV models and aim to sell 1 million units by 2025.