Apple has hired former BMW manager Ulrich Kranz, who most recently led the electric vehicle start-up Canoo and left it in April. This was reported by several media sources, to whom Apple confirmed this.
Kranz is to drive the tech giant’s car project forward alongside former Tesla manager Doug Field. This further strengthens the indications that Apple does indeed want to enter the electric car business. In December 2020, reports emerged showing that Apple was aiming to start production of an autonomous electric ar for the mass market by 2024. A few days ago, it was also revealed that Apple was reportedly negotiating with Chinese companies CATL and BYD to supply batteries for its electric cars.
While Apple is said to have confirmed Kranz’s hiring to several media outlets, the tech company did not grant further details on the German manager’s title or exact responsibilities. Kranz headed BMW’s electric car development programme years ago, which produced the i3 electric car and the i8 hybrid sports car. Together with former BMW colleague Stefan Krause, he founded the electric car startup Evelozcity in 2017, which was renamed Canoo in 2019. In the slipstream of the SPAC IPO, a restructuring of the company is currently taking place. Kranz, who was most recently CEO there, left the company in the course of this at the end of April.
Rumours about Apple’s electric car plans have been around for years, but the tech giant has not yet publicly commented on them. Earlier this year, the Apple Car was back in the media again: there were reports that Hyundai could become the tech giant’s partner – but a statement from the carmaker hinting at a possible partnership was later toned down and the reference to Apple removed. A month later, it was then said that Apple was on the verge of a billion-dollar partnership with Kia.