Apple’s attempt to have at least two battery manufacturers build plants exclusive to the Apple Car has not pushed through, but the tech giant is hoping they will start up again.
Apple Car Battery Vendors
Two potential Apple Car vendors are having difficulty meeting the tech giant’s production requirements. A new report claims that the main issue is manufacturing advanced lithium-ion phosphate or LFP batteries in the United States, and it will take a huge effort to complete it.
Suppliers that were cited in the report are CATL and BYD. CATL is known as the world’s main battery manufacturer for electric vehicles, according to Apple Insider.
CATL is a Chinese firm, which complicates the matter even more. The company had difficulty sourcing staff in the United States suitable for assembling a product development team just for the tech giant.
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BYD has a plant in the United States already, so it makes sense that Apple pursues them. However, the company allegedly said it is unwilling to build a plant just for the Apple Car.
The report on Oct. 22 from Reuters claims that both companies told Apple at some point in the past two months that they could not meet the tech giant’s requirements.
Since both companies told Apple that they would not be able to meet its high demands, the talks to be its vendors have stalled. Both companies are said to remain open to future projects with Apple.
A representative from CATL sent a statement to Reuters regarding the issue. In the said statement, the company revealed it is evaluating the opportunity and possibility of manufacturing localization in North America. CATL is known to create a dedicated team for each of its customers.
Apple Car’s Development
Since 2014, Apple has been working on the systems for its Apple Car, which is its very own physical passenger vehicle, according to 9to5Mac.
One of the most anticipated projects that Apple revealed was Project Titan, which has undergone staff cuts, restructurings, and a change of direction to autonomous systems.
Despite the issues, Apple continued to hire engineers, change its focus and create patents to pursue its goal of releasing a physical car.
In 2020, Apple was reported to have moved its car division to the leadership of John Giannandrea, the chief of Siri.
According to Reuters, Apple’s car department has improved so much to the point that it now aims to create a consumer vehicle itself.
The said improvement and progress line up with predictions, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo has previously predicted that an Apple Car could be launched sometime between 2023 and 2025.
Kuo also recently stated that Apple was working with TSMC, its long-time supply partner, on a chip for its Apple Car.
Apple has also talked to Magna International, a Canadian mobility technology firm, and is known for producing parts for vehicle companies such as BMW, General Motors, and Tesla. Apple is trying to get Magna International to manufacture its vehicle.
However, those discussions had flamed out when Apple’s car plans became unclear, and it began suffering from numerous setbacks.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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