Electric car sales and development continue to move ahead at warp speed with gas guzzlers increasingly going the way of the dinosaur. And over the last few years, traditional car manufacturers have increasingly gotten into the game while the industry has produced some new players as well. And there’s another tech giant that looks like it’s going to be getting into the mix. Apple has announced its plans to make and distribute an electric car as early as 2024.
The recent news around Apple and electric car development have them targeting a consumer market rather than a ridesharing application and would focus heavily on battery development to rival some other cars on the market now. The timeline around 2024 is a bit vague though with that maybe being a bullish estimate on when the company could bring something to market. Pandemic-related closures in core businesses and distributors would possibly threaten that timeline and push things to 2025.
Apple continuing to develop an electric car can’t be welcome news for the auto industry which has become increasingly competitive over the years. And Apple battery life jokes aside (and I’m sure there will be many around any car development) the company’s continued growth as well as a teensy sum of about $193 billion dollars of cash on hand means it’s well-positioned for market penetration.
Apple’s electric car development isn’t a new one. Project Titan, an initiative by the tech giant, was actually started about six years ago in 2014. It’s had plenty of starts and stops over the years. Originally, the company hired 100s of engineers and technicians to work (somewhat secretly) on the project. For the first few years, there seemed to be plenty of momentum on the project and in 2018 they actually had 55 registered cars on the road in California.
But things scaled back some for their electric car initiative in 2019 with the company reporting they had reduced the number to 23 road registered cars that finished the year *only* driving 7,500 miles. They also, in that same year, laid off 100s of employees tied to the project. That seemed to signal they’d cried no mercy when it came getting into the automotive game.
But this recent news flips things back in the Apple electric car direction. With a renewed interest in the project and some clearer timelines set out, it would appear they are following some other industry leaders into the fray. It makes sense considering 2019 marked a top year for electric car sales with 2.1 million EV cars sold marking a 40% year-over-year increase. And that was in a time when gas-powered vehicles saw their sales dip.
Gone are the days when the legacy car companies were the only ones who could get into the global automotive game. Sure, they are almost all throwing their hats into the proverbial ring. But that’s as much in response to companies like Tesla which has become a staple but companies like Lucid are also jumping into the fray.
Look, this news of Apple wanting to develop an electric car isn’t so much groundbreaking as ongoing. But a new eye toward the market means the electric cars could sooner than later greatly overtake those old oil burners.