Several are the names associated with Apple for the development and manufacture of its electric car, known as Apple Car. It has been linked to Toyota, also Hyundai / Kia, as well as LG Magna e-Powertrain. The name that sounds the most in the pools today is Foxconn, the Chinese partner that produces its mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other consumer electronics.
Two serious sources point to 2025 as the launch date of the Apple Car, both Manager Magazin and Bloomberg confirm that same time frame. It would be the finishing touch to Tim Cook’s career as helmsman of Apple’s destinies, and the entry of technology into a very powerful market.
For decades the automobile business was exclusively linked to manufacturers in the industry, especially when development and industrialization costs began to skyrocket. But in the same way that textile companies or bicycle/motorcycle manufacturing companies ended up making automobiles in the 20th century, in this century many technology companies will come into the picture without prior know-how.
The expectations behind the Apple Car are partly responsible for Apple’s beastly capitalization, more than 2.6 trillion (with “b”) dollars. In the last five years, the price of the technology company has multiplied by more than six (+ 514.5%), up to $ 175 per title. Its progression since the first wave of COVID-19 has been spectacular, almost tripling in value in a year and a half.
Tim Cook already has five Apple Car project managers, the latest being Kevin Lynch, one of the architects of the Apple Watch. His dependents include ex-Tesla, ex-Porsche, and ex-BMW, who are not brands in the heap. There are also seven years of development, it is a project that does not allow itself to die and for which there is all the money that is needed.
At the moment there is no binding agreement with car manufacturers or with battery suppliers – CATL and BYD are stopped -. We have not seen prototypes or test “mules” either. What we have seen is that Foxconn showed three prototypes of its Foxtron brand: the Model E sedan, the Model C crossover, and the Model T bus. If Apple’s main partner can manufacture vehicles in the medium term, adding 2 + 2 seems like the best option possible.
We should see more “action” sooner rather than later
The later the Apple Car arrives, the less market share it can grab. By then the German Premium monarchies will already have more than the interesting range of electric cars, the BMW I, the Audi e-Tron, or the Mercedes-EQ. Tesla could already have it’s compact aimed at less affluent masses of customers, and several Chinese emerging companies would already have a decent product for markets such as Europe and America.
That is, the window of opportunity to take a hit on the old school has already been given, and they are currently waking up with a 100% electric product and born as such. Apple, given its philosophy, would not compete for prices, but for technology, so we can reasonably classify it in the Premium category. Even Jaguar will have fresh produce by then – its range is now frozen.
It will also be necessary to have the capacity of generalist manufacturers to produce electric cars massively and competitively, the plans of Renault, Stellantis, and even Toyota serve as an example. Of the greats, the latter is the one that least believes in electric cars, but it will also have a catalog with which to seduce drivers who renounce getting their hands dirty when refueling and prefer the plugin.
Apple’s differentiation from other manufacturers will have a lot to do with autonomous driving, so there will be great advances in that regard. It is not ruled out that the Apple Car has a steering wheel and pedals, but it is reasonable to assume that, if it is capable of self-driving at SAE level 3 or 4, the steering wheel can be retractable so as not to take up space when it is unnecessary.
But by 2025 there is less than it seems, just three years. Following the usual trend of manufacturers, both new and established, we should see some concept in advance relatively soon. Then a reservation period would open for which there would be physical smacks to be done in person at the Apple Store. And the simple data of reserves will serve to further inflate the price of the Cupertino giant.
Months may pass between the opening of the reservations and the first deliveries to clients. The schedule is relatively tight. At the moment Apple is managing to keep all this in secret, but there is less left for a good photographer to hunt a “mule”, or for Tim Cook to finally take the rabbit out of his hat and say “the Apple” at a quarterly conference Car is here ‘ or something like that.