Apple is in negotiations with multiple global automakers. Hyundai is one of them and we are in the early stages of talks. Nothing has been decided, Hyundai Motor Co. said in a statement.
The official comments come in response to an earlier report by the Korea Economic TV, a unit of The Korea Economic Daily, that Apple has approached Hyundai Motor Group to propose cooperation in its efforts to develop an electric car as well as rechargeable batteries used in EVs.
A Hyundai Motor official initially denied the report, according to The Korea Economic Daily.
The South Korean automaker Chairman Chung Euisun, who took the helm of the automotive group in October last year, has told The Korea Economic Daily the company will actively push for new growth businesses focusing on EVs, hydrogen fuel cell cars and future mobility platforms.
According to the report, production of the electric Apple Car could start as early as 2024.
The Reuters report explains that central to Apple’s strategy is a new monocell battery design that “bulks up the individual cells in the battery and frees up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules that hold battery materials.”
The iPhone maker is also examining chemistry for the battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate, the person told Reuters, which is inherently less likely to overheat and is thus safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries.
The future of Apple’s self-driving car?
Throughout its history, Apple has set an example of design, performance, and durability (and high prices). Today, companies that deliver great products are compared to Apple (e.g., the Apple of gaming, the Apple of cars, etc.). But this history of perfection has also set high expectations for Apple. Where consumers allow other companies to fail and recover, they expect Apple to be flawless. And at the moment, self-driving car technology is anything but flawless.
This might partly be the reason that Apple has been reserved until recently and only leaked information about its self-driving car project through unnamed sources. It gives the company the maneuverability to backtrack on parts of its plans as the industry and its own project develop. The self-driving car industry is changing rapidly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if what we see in 2024 is very different from the initial report.
But what’s for sure is that Apple is serious about creating a self-driving car, and its engagement can have a serious impact on the future of transportation and the company itself.