Tesla chief Elon Musk: Apple is making an electric car

“Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, has said it is an ‘open secret’ that Apple is making a rival electric car,” Rory Cellan-Jones reports for BBC News. “He also predicted vehicles that could not drive themselves would become a ‘strange anachronism’ before too long.”

“The tech entrepreneur’s comments were made during an exclusive interview with the BBC at his design studio near Los Angeles,” Cellan-Jones reports. “Mr Musk said it was “obvious” that the company would try to make a compelling car of its own. ‘It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,’ he said. But he did not see the iPhone-maker as a threat. ‘It will expand the industry,’ he said.”

Cellan-Jones reports, “Mr Musk said electrification and autonomy were the two biggest innovations in the industry since the moving production line. ‘In the long term, nobody will buy a car unless it’s autonomous,’ he said. ‘Owning a car that is not self-driving in the long term will be like owning a horse – you would own it and use it for sentimental reasons but not for daily use.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You know who else didn’t see Apple as a threat?

• Microsoft
• Dell
• HP
• Gateway
• Compaq
• IBM
• iRiver
• Diamond Rio
• Virgin Digital
• Garman
• Ericsson
• Motorola
• Sony
• Palm
• Nokia
• BlackBerry

Etc.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

36 Comments

  1. There is a difference between the companies you cite. No matter how successful an Apple car will be, it can never have more than let’s say a Mercedes Benz, share of the market. Of course Tesla wil bel Apple’s main competitor

        1. I think on quality and innovation thats true though its unlikely that Tesla will ever manage to be as financially strong an opponent as those others so (sadly in my opinion) may struggle longer term when competition steps up.

  2. Yes, those were different times. Under Tim Cook Apple can’t get anything right–maps, watch, 6s, TV, et al. Glitches everywhere. Quality issues. Competitors are kicking ass, and Wall Street thinks Apple stock is nothing more than a piece of paper. Nothing good is going to happen as long as Cook is in command. The guy doesn’t listen; he doesn’t learn; he doesn’t care. He is taking Apple down with him.

    1. What island have you been living on? Apple products are amazing. The first iPhone is a joke compared to what it is now. There’s always a leaning curve to new and amazing new technology and innovation. Nothing starts out perfect, everything takes some tweaking so you are talking out of your ass. No wonder you have only 1 1/2 stars of approval.

    2. Sure, and you could have added the Newton, the hockey puck mouse, a phone that locked out 3rd party apps, the overpriced 20th Anniversary Mac, the Cube with the cracks… yeah that Jobs guy can’t get anything right. Glitches everywhere. Quality issues. Competitors are kicking ass.

    3. You lost any credibility when you suggested that the opposition are kicking ass? Want to name a few? Samsung?, Microsoft? Sony? Meanwhile Apple is more dominant than ever under Cook like his sexuality and liberal values or not.

  3. People are reading too much into this “not a threat” comment. Tesla isn’t trash-talking Apple and saying it has no chance, like the other companies listed.

    They *want* another eCar maker, because that’ll explode the market and bring their own costs down as eCar tech and manufacturing reach economies of scale.

    Although they’ll be competitors, Apple and Tesla will also be allies in a much bigger fight: car makers that produce mainly fossil fuel cars. Apple entering the eCar market means millions more people see electrics as a truly viable and desirable option.

    1. I get the pursuit of “autonomy,” but for the life of me I don’t understand the salvation linked to a car that runs on electricity, the majority of which is now sourced from fossil fuels? Electric cars are quiet/clean (on the road), but hardly “green” and performance is mostly marginal. My fantasy is that the Apple car would be like the MP3 player, phone and tablet…superiority in device, but also revolutionary in way/type of energy used.

      1. Seriously? Even if the electricity is sourced from coal, electric cars are far more efficient, and get the equivalent of 90mpg. Also, there’s a little something out there called solar power. Hook up your home’s solar panels, store energy in batteries until you can store the energy in your CAR’s batteries!

        With more utilities fighting back against net metering (where you can sell your excess power back to the grid), storing your own power is the Next Big Thing, and if you’re going to have 1000 pounds of batteries at home, might as well turn them into a car.

        1. Sure Mike…hook the batteries up to your home’s solar system to make it happen–that surely has the capacity as we speak. That “little something” you mention of isn’t prime-time for the majority of the population in the US…let alone a fraction of the world. The technology is for the wealthy (I have nothing against the wealthy, btw). Nuclear energy is more efficient, if that’s the goal, but as related to practicality, expense, infrastructure, ROI and environmental health, it’s still unbaked. Also, those 1000 batteries you speak of…just bury them, or shoot them into space?

      2. Hydrogen fuel cell? Or….. Who knows what huge discovery may have taken place in Apple’s vast R&D efforts that could have sparked a jump into a new venture like this. ” Apple only gets into businesses where we can make a big improvement and also control the core technology” ??? Who knows? But I’m anxious to see.

      3. Yes the efficiency of electric cars over carbon based fuels is considerable even at this stage with only little investment by comparison. But as countries start to phase out carbon based electricity generation that will only increase exponentially over time so best to get in now that its gaining momentum.

        As for the technology I think we are looking from the wrong end here I suspect that while range will increase relatively slowly for some time the recharging time of batteries will rapidly shorten over the next decade to the point that an hour (maybe less) will give you a good half charge, plenty enough to make it competitive with gasoline for most users, especially if that charge is being produced on site via solar or other mechanisms. Such advances I suspect will happen before autonomous cars are openly and widely operating on our roads I suspect.
        Even hydrogen is being produced this way in Japan which has just launched the Worlds first mainstream Hydrogen powered vehicle, though presently prohibitory expensive. But like others Apple has to plan a decade ahead here.

        1. Tesla supercharger stations can already add 50% battery charge after just 20 minutes. Still longer than to fill up a gas car, but a Tesla rep pointed out that if placed at major highway rest stops with restaurants and such, you can stop, stretch, get a restroom break… not quite 20 minutes, but if you sit down to eat, all that easily adds up to more than 20 minutes so you get even more juice.

          1. Citing charge times at gas stations is missing the point. Electricity infrastructure is EVERYWHERE. Yes, range is a bit of a limiting factor, but for most people, they will almost NEVER have to ‘fill up’ the car at a station. They simply plug it in each night like their iPhone. The vast majority do NOT travel 200 MILES per DAY!.

      4. It’s really simple.

        What’s easier to make more efficient?

        1. 100,000 portable gas-powered power plants ( cars )
        2. 10 fixed-location coal-burning electric power plants.

        It’s way easier and more efficient to upgrade a coal-burning power plant. Not to mention, it’s easier to turn off. Basically, electricity is an agnostic power medium. You can make electricity from burning gas, coal, turning a turbine using steam ( nuclear ), running water, wind, wave motion, 100,000 monkeys running on treadmills.

        How, on the other hand do you produce petroleum? By digging up oil. That’s about it.

    1. There is a difference between Musk’s comments and those of Balmer and others at the advent of the iPhone. They ridiculed Apple’s offering and said they had no fear because Apple would fail. Musk is saying he does not fear because Apple’s success will expand the market. He is not underestimating or ridiculing Apple. Success does not have to be predatory. Apple’s success will help Tesla – that is what he is saying.

  4. “You know who else didn’t see Apple as a threat?” —MDN

    A competitor is not a “threat” unless you are so full of yourself that you believe an entire industry should belong solely to you—which is an utterly ridiculous thing to believe.

  5. He also predicted vehicles that could not drive themselves would become a ‘strange anachronism’ before too long.

    Depending upon what ‘before too long’ means… He’s expressing a merely First World perspective, and within that a 1%er perspective. It’s a prominent human problem how we tend to think only within our own personal box. IOW: 😛

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