In what is perhaps the worst kept secret in the electric car industry, Apple is looking to introduce its own electric car in the short to medium term. The company has dropped a number of subtle hints regarding its interest in electric vehicles but so far there has been no official recognition that the project even exists. Historically the company has played the public relations market to a tee but many now believe the company risks been ignored by the sector and EV enthusiasts unless it is a little more forthcoming with information.
Is Apple actually building an electric car?
Commonly known as “Project Titan” Apple will be making use of its infamous “i” trademark when it finally launches the iCar. There have been rumours and counter rumours, lies and mistruths and all because Apple is reluctant to let anybody into the secret which is widely known throughout the industry. Over the last few months there have been rumours of high-level management changes, a slippage in timescale for the project although again we have no official confirmation or denials.
One thing we do know is that Apple has a very large warchest with billions of dollars waiting for a good investment home. The company itself is under significant pressure from shareholders and analysts to make better use of its cash pile and with electric cars seemingly a market for the future, surely this would be a perfect fit for Apple?
Electric cars are more technology than production
One problem many people have is seeing electric cars in the same light as the traditional petrol/diesel vehicles of today. If you take a step back and look at the situation, electric cars are more technology than production so in many ways we are looking at the industry from the wrong angle. Even though the likes of Tesla, which was once rumoured to be a takeover target for Apple before the sad death of Steve Jobs, has taken the industry by storm there is still room for others. Tesla has proven more than any other electric vehicle company that it is not all about the production and more about the technology.
When you bear in mind the potential array of new systems which could be introduced into future electric cars surely the likes of Apple are perfectly placed to take full advantage?
Can Apple do anything but disappoint the market?
The one problem which Apple may have in the medium to longer term is that by not releasing any facts or figures about the company’s electric vehicle project, expectations will continue to rise. We have seen this with the iPhone, unrealistic expectations prior to launch which are inevitably dashed when reality hits home. It will be interesting to see how Apple does eventually manage expectations for the company’s first electric vehicle, which should not be too far away, because with a reputation like Apple you do not get a second chance to make a first impression.
We are now seeing the emergence of many technology-based electric car companies as well as the more traditional automobile manufacturers moving into the sector. Eventually we will see more joint ventures between technology and production companies to maximise the skills of all parties involved. However, has Apple left it too late?