Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn recently revealed it is considering its Wisconsin facility to produce its first electric vehicle. The international electronics juggernaut is strategizing for contract manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America. The company’s president recently told the media that Foxconn is debating between its Wisconsin facility or one of its plants in Mexico to produce EVs for clients.
Why would companies that manufacture phones, like Sony or Apple, want to get into the electric vehicle business? A better question to ask is, “why wouldn’t they?” While electric vehicles have only just begun to corner a small portion of the automobile market, the upside of prospective growth is tremendous. As vehicles become more reliant on batteries, wiring, and programming in lieu of combustion engines, companies like Sony and Apple feel they have enough knowledge and expertise to take a crack at an electric vehicle of their own.
Apple has gifted the world with a library of devices that have since become household names, many of which we use daily. There’s the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, and AirPods; but when you think Apple, Car is not the first word to come to mind. That might soon change as recent news has breathed new life into over ten years of rumors surrounding Apple’s attempt at an electric car. Here’s everything we know so far, along with the winding road of a backstory that brought us to this point.
There has long been a debate about Apple’s secretive automotive project being only about a self-driving system for vehicles rather than a full electric autonomous vehicle. It now looks clear that the latter is the case as Apple hires Tesla’s head of electric powertrains. Expand Expanding Close
Apple has today filed a patent for a set of intriguing new autonomous vehicle features called “Peloton.” The filing describes the ability for multiple self-driving cars to share battery capacity via a “connector arm,” dynamically adjust positions, increase efficiency, and more.
Apple doesn’t appear to be slowing down on its mysterious self-driving car technology testing. As noted in a new report on Uber’s fatal accident involving an autonomous vehicle, the Financial Times includes new data on how many self-driving cars Apple may be testing in California.
Apple is reportedly in talks about buying cobalt direct from miners in a long-term deal set to span five years or more. The report is given weight by the CEO of one mining company confirming Apple has held discussions about cobalt, which is used in the lithium-ion batteries which power Apple devices …
Apple has dramatically increased the number of self driving vehicles it is testing, Bloomberg reports. The company first received approval from state officials last spring to test three self driving cars on the road, but new inquiries to the California DMW show Apple has since expanded its test fleet to 27 vehicles total.
Rumors that Apple plans to develop and market a self-driving vehicle may have gone cold, but CEO Tim Cook has publicly acknowledged that the company is working on a ‘large project’ around autonomous systems.
The latest detail in the story comes via Jalopnik which reports that Apple may have leased Chrysler’s old proving grounds which could be used for testing autonomous cars.
Apple signed a deal this week to power to its Sparks, Nevada data center with possibly the cheapest contracted starting price for solar power in the US. The deal was signed with NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The deal’s start price is 3.099¢/kWh with a 2% a year escalator making it very inexpensive energy. The size of the solar project is 50MW.
Chris Lattner isn’t the only high profile Apple executive who departed for Tesla over the past month, rather than sticking around to work on Titan. Electrek has learned that Matt Casebolt, a high-profile Senior Director of Design for Apple’s Mac lineup left the company last month for a role at Tesla as Sr. Director Engineering, Closures & Mechanisms. A job meant for a man named Casebolt… Expand Expanding Close
Apple’s car plans have long been kept under wrap by the company itself, but a new regulatory filing shows it publicly address the industry for the time. In a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uncovered by VentureBeat, Apple urged the government not to restrict testing of self-driving vehicles.
Jamie Carlson, a veteran firmware engineer and early member of the Tesla Autopilot team, made the headlines last year when he left Tesla to join Apple on ‘Special Projects’ at a time when we were just learning of the scale of the Cupertino company’s ambitions in the auto industry.
Electrek has now learned that Carlson left Apple earlier this month after just over a year at the company. He is staying in the electric vehicle industry by joining NextEV as Senior Director of Advanced Technologies. Expand Expanding Close