Hyundai Claims It's Talking With Apple About EV Project
Apple's car project isn't dead. In fact, it's finally making some ground. Reports from before the end of last year claim that the tech giant is looking to launch an electric car as soon as 2024. That's an incredibly lofty goal, especially as Apple doesn't have anything related to the automotive world to show. That might not be a problem as a new report from the Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple will look toward Hyundai to be a partner to build the vehicle and supply the batteries for the electric car.
Apple Needs Help
The outlet stated that the two companies were discussing the idea of developing a self-driving electric car by 2027. The batteries would be developed at Hyundai or Kia's U.S. factories. "Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is early stage, nothing has been decided," said Hyundai in a statement.
Initially, Hyundai confirmed the story, but walked back on the statement, claiming that it was "getting requests for cooperation on join development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies," but didn't identify which companies it was working with.
Apple getting help from Hyundai makes sense. The South Korean automaker recently announced multiple plans affirming its decision to move toward an electrified future. More recently, the automaker announced its updated "Strategy 2025" plan that includes it wanting to supply 8-10 percent of the of the world's electric vehicles by 2025. Currently, Hyundai only has two all-electric cars in its lineup: the Kona Electric and the IONIQ Electric. Soon, the IONIQ name will become its own sub-brand for all things electric.
"Apple outsourcing car production to Hyundai makes sense, because (the Korean firm) is known for quality," Jeong Yun-woo, a former designer at Hyundai, told Reuters. "But I'm not sure whether it is a good strategy for automakers to be like the Foxconn of Apple as automakers face risks of losing control to tech firms."
Partnership Makes Sense
A partnership between Hyundai and Apple would be a great thing for both companies. Hyundai was once a strong proponent of fuel-cell vehicles. More recently, it's moved away from hydrogen-powered cars and into EVs. For Apple, a partner is a necessity. The company has nothing to show for EVs. We haven't seen a platform, batteries, or a design. Hyundai has all of those things, practically giving Apple everything it needs for an EV.
One area where Apple could give Hyundai a helping hand is when it comes to self-driving technology. A few years ago, Hyundai partnered with automotive supplier Aptiv for autonomous technology. At the moment, Hyundai doesn't have much to show for the partnership in mainstream vehicles that consumers can purchase.
Just because Apple and Hyundai are talking about possibly building an electric car together, it doesn't mean that anything will come to fruition. For years, reports and rumors have been circulating about Apple's first vehicle. Numerous automakers have been rumored to be working with the tech company, but clearly, nothing came to light.
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