Apple shuts down electric car project after ten years

Apple has apparently cancelled its electric car project after ten years of development. According to an agency report, the company announced this internally on Tuesday. Many members of the car team are to be transferred to the artificial intelligence department.

Image: unsplash/Laurenz Heymann

Bloomberg reports on the end of electric car development at Apple, citing insiders. There have been countless rumours surrounding the entire Titan project for many years. In typical company fashion, Apple itself has never communicated an official interim status of the development or given the public any insights. According to Bloomberg, however, the Apple management has now drawn a line – and communicated this internally to employees on Tuesday. At the same time, however, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Apple has massively expanded its vehicle road tests in 2023. The news situation therefore seems contradictory. More on this in a moment.

Bloomberg has hardly provided any further details on the cancellation of the project. Many employees involved in “Titan” are apparently to be transferred to the artificial intelligence department, where, according to the news agency, they are to “focus on generative AI projects, which are becoming increasingly important for the company”. What’s more, Apple had recently expected a sales price of around 100,000 US dollars for its electric car – and had concerns about achieving the profit margins that Apple normally achieves with its products.

According to various media reports, the Apple electric vehicle has been in development since 2014. The company is said to have shown advanced prototypes to potential production partners from the automotive industry several years ago. There were even concrete rumours that Kia was to become the production partner. Negotiations are also said to have taken place with CATL and BYD. However, Apple is said to have later rejected the idea of producing its own car in order to concentrate on the software for autonomous driving.

The latest twist to the ‘Titan’ project came in January, when Bloomberg reported that Apple was postponing the launch of its electric car once again – from 2026 to 2028 at the earliest. And Level 4 autonomous driving was not to be on board either, but rather a steering wheel and pedals. The agency again explicitly referred to a specially designed Apple car. The decision not to wait for Level 4 was made after a meeting between the Board of Directors, Apple CEO Tim Cook and project manager Kevin Lynch, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the German publication Handelsblatt writes on the basis of its own analysis that Apple massively expanded its test drives on California’s roads in 2023. The number of miles travelled last year is said to have risen to around 453,000 (730,000 kilometres) – more than three times the figure for the same period in the previous year. This may or may not contradict the Bloomberg report. It is conceivable, for example, that Apple stepped up its efforts to save the project right up to the end. However, this has not been confirmed.


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