Old School Americana & Nostalgia

Cars

Apple Cancels Plans to Produce Electric Car

Apple Cancels Plans to Produce Electric Car

After somewhat working in secrecy, Apple is dropping its plans to produce an electric car and get it out on the marketplace. Apple’s initial goal was to be a challenger against Tesla. Now, many employees who have been working on this project may be out of a job.

This project allegedly didn’t fit with Apple’s core business focus of electronic technology and online sales. Yet Apple has had a yearning to build an electric car back in 2014. At that time, Apple reached out and nabbed automotive engineers and other auto company talent.

To get a jumpstart on this work, Apple put together a program with Apple-owned cars that had sensors and safety drivers. These cars, though, were kept close by in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Apple Electric Car Program Kept Under Wraps

This program fell under Apple’s Special Projects Group in a way to keep it hush-hush. But that group had some changes throughout the years, and that includes layoffs in 2019. Bloomberg, in its report, indicates that some of these employees could move to an artificial intelligence team at Apple.

During those layoffs, other employees with the company got moved to different departments.

It’s worth noting, according to CNBC, that Apple does have automotive-related projects like CarPlay software. That’s bent toward an infotainment purpose for those who use it. Apple has stated this has been installed in 80 percent of new cars.

Digging into bigger markets also played an integral role in Apple’s pursuit of electric cars. Nevertheless, the company keeps moving forward on items for health technologies. One of them is the Apple Watch, while a newer one is the virtual reality headset called the Vision Pro.

Asian Challengers Stay Put In EV Field

While Apple is now out of EV work, the company’s Asian challengers are still in the game of manufacturing cars. Xiaomi, which makes Android smartphones, did toss its hat into the EV ring. Foxconn, which is Apple’s top manufacturing partner, announced in 2023 that it would build EVs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t comment publicly on the company’s electric vehicle plans. He only referred to the whole thing as work on “autonomous systems.” When asked by a shareholder about the EV project in 2016, Cook commented, “It’s going to be Christmas Eve for a long time.”

In another matter, Apple didn’t talk about how much has been spent in the auto area. But Apple did spend about $30 billion on research and development in 2023. That was a 14 percent increase over 2022. The company’s R&D budget does include investments in new software and features on existing products like the iPhone.

Now, it will be time to keep an eye on these other electric car companies. Let’s see what they can come up with in the long run.