Apple veteran Steve Zadesky overseeing electric-car project leaving company

“The Apple Inc. veteran tasked with spearheading the company’s efforts to build an automobile is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Steve Zadesky, a 16-year Apple veteran who has been overseeing its electric-car project for the last two years, has told people he is leaving the company,” Wakabayashi reports. “The timing of his departure isn’t clear. He is still at Apple for now.”

“A person familiar with the matter said Mr. Zadesky’s departure was for personal reasons and wasn’t related to his performance,” Wakabayashi reports. “Mr. Zadesky, who worked on the iPod and the iPhone during his career, was given permission in 2014 to start investigating Apple’s entry into the electric car market. Last year, Apple designated the initiative—code-named ‘Titan’ — a committed project and set a ship date of 2019.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, this is not a health-related issue and this development somehow ends up benefitting both Zadesky and Apple’s “Project Titan” effort.

SEE ALSO:
Apple is building their largest startup ever – October 1, 2015
Why it’s time for an Apple Car – October 1, 2015
The deeper reason for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Volkswagen emissions scandal spotlights need for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Morgan Stanley: Apple Car, if true, ‘one of the most important moments in transportation’ – September 22, 2015
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: Apple Car ‘is going to be a gigantic money pit’ – September 22, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Apple meets California DMV officials to discuss ‘autonomous vehicle’ – September 18, 2015
Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car, Project Titan further along than many suspect – August 14, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ could reshape the auto world – February 22, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

41 Comments

    1. Going electric is a lot more than just “saving fuel” or “greening the Earth”. When you consider all the other benefits, it is still a no brainer to go electric.

      For instance, what would you give for a car that guarantees that its spark plugs will never wear out, or you will never have to replace another timing belt or its oil filter or its radiator or its catalytic convertor ….and on and on. You might have to replace its electric motor, that is a “one piece” item or you might have to replace its battery (which BTW will only get cheaper and cheaper and bigger and bigger) which is also a “one piece” item.

      It will still be cheaper to run even with oil at $20 a barrel.

      So NO! High oil is not what makes the case for electric cars. Neither does the saving the earth stuff. Those two things are just the icing on a very nice cake.

      1. Give me one that can handle below freezing temperatures and can go unlimited miles without recharging and can run on solar power and maybe you have a case for an all electric. Right now, that is not the situation.

        An all-electric is a short distance, fair-weather friend only.
        Fine if you run a fork-lift or a golf cart. Not so good at going the distance without lots of stops along the way to recharge. Think of an all-electric as a man with prostate cancer that has to make frequent stops to take potty-breaks.

        1. Well god knows they’ve had time to perfect the Golf Cart… You are lucky to get one good day with a full charge.. and with that, You never know… and where is that electric charge coming from? Fossil fuels.

          So all the hypocrites who use fossil fuels every day need to pipe down a bit, give the situation time and stop persecuting fossil fuels. Better fuel cells will come, but not in our lifetime. Not as a worldwide replacement… sad but true…

          1. Where I come from, fossil fuels represent a small percentage of energy source for electricity. Hydro power is the predominant one, and has been for decades.

            Let us not forget, when you complete the math for fossil fuel consumption of an electric car (the energy needed to generate power, transmit it to your charger and charge that battery), you roughly get over 100 miles per gallon equivalency (which, for the rest of the world translates into barely 2.3l/100km).

            I’m not how old are you, Jack, but unless you are 70 or older, your statement is likely incorrect. Better fuels are on the horizon and it shouldn’t take more than 20 – 30 years to finally make fossil energy obsolete. The political consequence of such transition may be massive (imagine a world in which Arab countries are no longer rich and America no longer needs Saudi Arabia as an ally), but it is coming, well within our lifetimes.

            1. I’m old enough to remember that a future free from fossil fuels has been just 20–30 years away since at least the 1970’s. It will continue to be out there, the next generation’s problem, until we take it seriously. And then it can take less than 20 years. But people like Jack are the problem. If oil prices go down, they don’t care. Because all they care about is their wallet. Not their children’s future, not the harmony of the planet’s residents, not the quality of life for generations to come.

              All the world needs is incentive. It will come eventually, as fossil fuel supplies deplete, but it’s stupid and short-sighted to wait for that. With real government leadership some planet will create an initiative to apply the massive brainpower that brought us such productivity-draining achievements as Facebook, Candy Crush, and the Segway, and apply it to finding clear skies and independence from the desperate crazies in the Middle East.

              And I hate to say it, but that initiative probably won’t happen in the United States. Democracy and capitalism are strange bedfellows. Capitalism is driven by pursuit of money, money is power, and power corrupts. No, I expect the first move to happen in China, whose heartless oligarchy can actually choose to make changes that are unpopular among the powerful few.

        2. The Teslas will soon have the option to do a super-charge at rest stops where it fully charges your battery in 30 minutes (pretty close to the time you spend at a stop anyway if you’re getting a meal with a family), or where they switch out your low battery for a brand new battery for $50, which is still pretty close to the cost of filling up a tank.

          So no, your armchair wisdom cannot compete with the engineering and creative reality of what electrics soon will be, much less what they shall become.

        3. Cog-Disconnect,

          1. So your ICE go’s without refuelling?
          Nah. Didn’t think so.

          2. The Tesla goes for 430 Km without needing a charge.
          You drive for longer than that without a break? Nah. Didn’t think so.

      2. Regarding: “For instance, what would you give for a car that guarantees that its spark plugs will never wear out, or you will never have to replace another timing belt or its oil filter or its radiator or its catalytic convertor ….and on and on. ”

        What about replacing the batteries for $30,000?

        1. “What about replacing the batteries for $30,0000?”

          People said this about the Prius hybrid battery, too. But they were wrong. The original batteries seem to last a long time. Some go for 200,000 to 300,000 miles. But even if the battery fails sooner, it does not necessarily mean you are out big money.

          The hybrid battery pack consists of 28 individual cells, with battery performance determined by the least-performing cell. If your battery is not working right, as indicated by poor mpg (or an indicator light), it means you have at least 1 bad cell. Many hybrid batteries are fixed by replacing just 1 or 2 cells. The cells can be bought for $40 to $50 each. And you might owe some money in labor. But it is not hard work.

          The worse case scenario if, by chance, you must replace all 28 cells is that you are maybe out $1500 or so.

          Though if you are dumb enough to believe the dealer when he says you need a complete new Prius battery pack …and computer controller… for $4000 or $5000, then, well, you are on your own.

          ‘The Hybrid Shop’ is a franchise that specializes in fixing hybrid and electric cars. They do what is called “rebuilding” Prius hybrid batteries. I am sure they will be all over other electric batteries, too.

          For this reason, I would not worry too much about apocalyptic forecasts of costly Tesla battery replacements …because it is unlikely to be true when the time comes.

    2. The whole point of burning less fossil fuel is to reduce CO2 emissions, not just to save money.

      Burning 1 pound of carbon produces 3.67 pounds of CO2. One gallon of gasoline weighs about 6.3 pounds and is 87% carbon, so is about 5.5 pounds of carbon. So burning 1 gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of CO2. This is the basic chemistry of combustion, which anyone can easily verify. (Hint: add 2 oxygen atoms to each carbon atom to get the total weight of CO2 when carbon is combusted, which requires oxygen.)

      Think about all the fossil fuels human consume. Multiply the carbon weight by 3.6 to get the weight of CO2 we produce. The quantity is staggering. Add up all the CO2 produced from burning all the fossil fuels humans have ever burned and you begin to get a sense for the staggering amounts of CO2 we have produced. It is a simple but powerful explanation for why we are causing climate change, because CO2 is generally benign, except it excels at trapping heat in the atmosphere. And atmospheric carbon is then absorbed by our oceans, which increases oceanic temperatures and alters the basic chemistry of our oceans — we are basically making our oceans like soda pop due to our prodigious burning of fossil fuels, and even more prodigious production of CO2.

      So, ya, the real cost of burning fossil fuels is CO2, not money. A lot of caring people have already switched to hybrid and electric cars, and are trying to reduce their carbon footprints in other ways, and will continue to due so. The motor heads of the world who just don’t get it will become fewer and fewer.

      1. The carbon cycle resolves the CO2 “issue”, which by the way makes plants thrive! If you want to reduce CO2 emissions through sequestration, why not bury all the soda pop?

        And don’t forget all the volcanic activity around the world and forest fires that “release” CO2 and other bad-nasties into the atmosphere. Maybe we need to talk to Mother Nature about that and get her to stop.

        Petroleum is not a “fossil” fuel. It is made from rock – ergo Petro-le-um. The earth makes it naturally. It can also be generated in a matter of minutes using known processes from recycling waste products.

        Greenland used to be a thriving dairy environment. Now it is still under ice from the last little ice age. The world used to be covered in “green” and vegetation used to much larger. We have vast deserts today. Why? Maybe the dinosaurs started “outlawing” CO2 like the misnomered Environmental Protection Agency has done today.

        Vegetation needs CO2 to live. We need Oxygen to live. The plants convert CO2 to Oxygen. No CO2, No life. Please learn about the carbon cycle and your part in it. You wipe out CO2, you wipe out “carbon footprints”,

        1. Sorry, Cognitive Dissonance. You are totally wrong. Only *non-sequestered* carbon is accounted for in the life-cycle process. This is the carbon in all current life forms on the planet: vegetation and animals. An animal is born, eats food, stores carbon, dies, release carbon for plants, et cetera. One big happy process. Fine, as far as it goes.

          But the other source of carbon on the planet is *sequestered* carbon. By burning fossil fuels — which is sequestered carbon — we are taking carbon that has been created over millions of years and stored in the earth’s crust in the form of fossil fuels. We are now taking this requested carbon and burning it for fuel, which releases huge amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere and oceans. This represents new carbon (ie, that was formerly sequestered) burned to produce CO2 that adds to the carbon that already exists in the atmosphere and oceans. Look it up; it is easily verified.

          Petroleum _is_ a fossil fuel, you dummy. It was formed from the death of carbon plant and animal forms that died millions of years ago. When it was first found in western Pennsylvania, it was found oozing from porous rocks. Ergo its name: petr-oleum. Petroleum is not made from rocks. But it is found in rocks — or, rather, the space in rocks. Look it up.

          The planet has been changing dramatically over its 4.5 BILLION YEAR history. That includes Greenland. What’s your point? It does not “prove” burning fossil fuels does not produce huge amounts of CO2 — which is a basic fact of the combustion process. Again, look it up. It is public knowledge.

          Lastly, CO2 is not “steroids” for plants. Yes, plants need CO2 in their transpiration process. But more planetary CO2 does not imply plants will use more CO2. They use only what they need. Humans have cut down 40% to 50% of the planet’s trees over the ages. Which means fewer trees are processing CO2. So, ya, that is another issue.

          I think junior high school kids today know more about fossil fuels and CO2 production than you do. Get with the beat! Educate yourself!

          1. You need to put it in a much simpler way.

            Animals and humans, in their process of breathing, make more than enough CO2 for plants to convert into oxygen.

            The problem with burning fossil fuels: we are generating drastically more CO2 than all the plants in the world could possibly convert into oxygen. We made things worse by cutting down half of all those plants that could do that conversion.

            In other words: burning fossil fuels is not the same as us breathing. For example, when you drink a cup of soda, it contains some sugar in it (say, 5 grams). While it may make you fat if you drink too much of it, it won’t kill you. When you eat 3 kgs (7 lbs) of sugar in one day, you will end up in a coma, or dead. Us burning fossil fuels is doing to Earth what 3 kgs of sugar per day would to our body (somewhat exaggerated here, to make a point).

        1. Are you serious? Gawd help us. Goes to show what has happened to education… You do know the health of our democracy is predicated on an educated populace, right? Educate yourself !

          Every substance has mass (‘weight’), even if it is barely measurable. You know that much, right?

          Take 2 seconds to look up the Periodic Table of Elements online. It lists the known elements in increasing order of molecular weight. Hydrogen is element #1. The number under each element’s abbreviation (eg, H is for hydrogen) is its molecular weight. Hydrogen has a molecular weight of 1 (rounded from 1.0008).

          Carbon (C) is element #6 with a molecular weight of 12. Oxygen (O) is element #8 with a molecular weight of 16.

          CO2 is made of 1 carbon + 2 oxygen atoms. It is produced as a consequence of the combustion process, which is technically an atomic reaction — a reaction involving the bonds of atoms — which is triggered initially by heat, after which the combustion process generates enough heat to sustain itself until fuel, oxygen, or heat are inadequate to continue. (Incidentally, it is the ‘atomic reaction’ of combustion that produces the energy we want from fossil fuels.)

          Scientists measure the weight of elements, it is what they do. If you want to know exactly how they measure the weight of atoms, you will have to ask a chemist. I am content to just look up the weight of elements in the Periodic Table.

          CO2 = 1C +2O. The weight of CO2 equals the weight of 1 C and 2O atoms, or: (1 x 12) + (2 x 16) = 44. CO2 has a molecular weight of 44. We just added up the molecular weights of the C & O atoms in CO2.

          The ratio of the weight of CO2 to the weight of C is simple. It is 44 ÷ 12, or 3.67. It is a ratio, so has no “units”, which makes it convenient. If we want to know how much CO2 is produced from combusting any given weight of carbon atoms, we just multiply by 3.67 to get the weight of CO2 produced. Easy peasy.

          1 pound of carbon produces 3.67 pounds of CO2 when burned.
          1 ton of carbon produces 3.67 tons of CO2 when burned.
          1 mega-ton of carbon produces 3.67 mega-tons of CO2 when burned

          1 gallon of gas contains about 5.5 lbs of carbon atoms and produces 20 pounds of CO2 when burned.

          Our prodigious burning of fossil fuels explains how and why humans are causing climate change.

          1. OK, so you can’t measure the atmospheric amount of CO2, thought so.

            So, if we need to eradicate the CO2 in the atmosphere, will we kill off the animals before we kill off the humans or vise versa?

            1. No, althegeo, you are wrong. You *can* measure the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Or at least scientists can. Do you live under a rock or something? You should browse less porn and use the internet for educational purposes. You can look it up online in about 2 seconds if you want to verify it for yourself.

              The CO2 in the atmosphere is presently measured at close to 400 ppm: parts-per-million. PPM is a volume measure of quantity. You can covert to weight if you wanted to, but the traditional way to measure it is ppm.

              About 150 years ago, the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 280 ppm. This means humans have increased the CO2 content of the atmosphere by about 40%.

              It is a large proportional increase. Some people think ppm seems small. But the units are less important than the relative increase in the amount. You don’t need a lot of heroin to get high. But take 40% more than you should and you die… CO2 is the heroin of atmospheric and oceanic heat absorption.

    3. That must claim a new record for short sightedness my friend. Building your long term future around the fluctuating events of the moment is truly the dumbest thing any society can do but certainly indicative of how humankind gets itself in the mess in the first place, to paraphrase Ollie.

      1. Tx. It goes to show humans can affect the planet’s climate. I would guess most of the increased atmospheric carbon that caused warming back then was the result of clearing trees for farming. It is estimated that humans have eliminated about half the trees on the planet. Fewer trees means less carbon life-cycling, so more atmospheric carbon. Plus, burning carbon from any source, even trees, produces CO2 in the amount of 3.67 pounds for every 1 pound of carbon combusted. It is a simple fact of chemistry.

        In 5000 BC the world’s population was only 5 million, while today it is 7.3 *billion*. (With 8 billion predicted by 2025 …and growing fast.)

        Let’s put millions & billions in perspective:
        1 million seconds is 12 days (11.57 days)
        1 billion seconds is 32 YEARS (31.71 years)

        So the world’s population in 5000 BC equalled 1 person for every second in 60 days. Today, the population equals 1 person for every second in 231 YEARS. The difference in population numbers alone implies a huge human impact on climate change …even under stone-age agriculture practices.

        But in addition to stone-age agriculture, modern humans are also burning huge amounts of fossil fuel, which produces “3.67 x huge” amounts of CO2. Sort of like comparing a nuclear bomb (the human production of CO2 today) to a slingshot (the human production of CO2 in 5000 BC).

        Anyway, thanks for the link. It highlights how important it is for humans to stop burning fossil fuels as fast as they can if the don’t want to ruin the planet with overheating. And if they want to leave a healthy planet to their children and all future generations.

        1. One more thing — those early humans were lucky they ‘mitigated’ an ice age through their impact on climate, rather than exacerbating a warming cycle. Otherwise they might’ve cooked their own goose, so to speak.

          We do know the planet and the earth’s climate change over time. There is little we can do about these underlying planetary trends.

          The issue for humans is the drastic changes that we, alone, are adding *on top* of the earth’s underlying planetary trends.

          1. This just in today (Monday, Jan 25): Based on data from the past 150 years, there is a 1-in-10,000 chance recent global climate warming was NOT caused by humans. See link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/25/record-hot-years-near-impossible-without-manmade-climate-change-study

            Note that 0.01% equals 0.0001 (ie, 0.01 ÷ 100), which means 1 chance in 10,000 …or 1 ÷ 10,000.

            The main culprit is excess CO2. Most of which is produced by humans combusting fossil fuels. As a start, it would help if we all use less fossil fuel whenever and to the extent possible. This has obvious implications on what we should all do.

  1. What is the car of the future? A “networked car” or a specialized car like a Tesla or BMW carbon fiber. . . I think it’s networked, like the Kiva robots you see in warehouses, in which each car is part of a network, and their movement is analogous to the movement of data in a parallel processor . . . Does Apple see their car as a networked device? . . . and if so, are they creating an operating system to manage that network . . . or is Apple just focused on creating individual cars (like Tesla), but they see the cars being like an iOS product, in which you have an operating system which manages the entire car, and Apps can modify the functions of the car . . . I think it’s important to understand that if Apple goes the “networked car” route, the cars would be simple in functionality, since networked cars would be deployed like taxis in a city (rather than having individual owners) . . . if Apple goes the Tesla or BMW carbon fiber route, then they are competing with the entire auto industry, and would output a niche model.

      1. Or wait around to charge the thing.
        A Tesla takes an hour for 3 miles of “drive time”,
        YOU HAVE THAT RIGHT… with a standard 115v plug,, You know, the kind of plug that’s EVERYWHERE. What a Joke… you can get a 240 v charger that gives you 29 miles per hour of charge.

        Now where do you think the electricity is coming from?

        That first hour of charging is the killer if you are out of fuel.. Bring a good book I suppose.
        I’m sure performance will get better, we’ll see.

        Anyone calculating the impact of all these batteries?
        Good luck, the VOLT was DOA…

        Honestly, I’d truly like to see these things work out, Fingers crossed…

        1. Jack, you need to learn about DC fast charging. A Tesla Supercharger, which is what they have deployed along the interstates, can put 150 miles of range into the battery in 30 minutes. Several of the newer all electric vehicles have DCFC capability. When GM developed the Volt (which I have), they gave it a 40 mile battery range before switching to gasoline generator back up power because in their studies, 80 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day in their daily commute. There are many benefits of driving on electric power that have nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with convenience to the owner.

          Leaving the house every morning on a full ‘tank’ of fuel. No stopping at the gas station in crappy weather, waiting in line, etc.

          No gears. The car simply accelerates and boy oh boy, can they accelerate.

          Pre-heating or cooling the interior while plugged in.

          Maintenance costs are greatly reduced due to the simplicity of the drivetrain and other components. Brakes in particlular, will last a LONG time because the car does most of its braking by regenerative methods… using the vehicle’s momentum to turn the drive motor into a generator that puts electricity back into the battery.

          I could go on and on, and I’m no tree hugger either.

          Tesla proved that you can make an all electric car with great range, good looks, and fast re-charge. Yes, they carry a high price tag, but they also bring a lot of luxury features found in other vehicles in that same price range.

          If the vehicle can fit into your daily life style, it’s a no brainer IMO. Most people who have driven electric vehicles say they never want to go back to gas for some of the reasons I mentioned above. For our household, the Volt was perfect. It’s an electric commuter car 99 percent of the time, but can do an out of town trip to anywhere using gasoline as necessary at about 40mpg.

    1. You are overstating the extent which the U.S. sees -8 degrees fahrenheit days. Sure, if you live in International Falls, but most of the U.S. doesn’t even see one day of -8 or at most less than a handful of days like that.

  2. What this planet needs is an efficient and inexpensive way to store and transport hydrogen. Compressed gas? No. Liquid? No. There are other ways but they are expensive. Making it? All you need is water and sunlight. Burning it? It goes back to water and nothing else. The perfect fuel.

    We need another president who will make this a national priority, like Kennedy’s moon program.

  3. I thought Apple jumped the shark with the Apple Watch (especially the gold version). I know zero people who own any kind of an Apple Watch.
    With Apples foray into electric cars they have entered whale jumping territory.

    1. Few people realize the country recently passed an amazing milestone: we now produce more electricity from renewable sources (hydro, solar, wind) than from coal. Pretty exciting.

      Has anyone noticed that 2 large coal companies recently declared bankruptcy? And the other companies are hurting bad. The consumption of coal is trending down pretty fast. If you wanted to give kids advice for a secure career, you would encourage them to go into renewables, not coal.

      The 5-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit should help continue the trend towards renewable energy sources.

      Depending on your electric utility’s source of fuel for generating electric power, electric cars still produce less CO2 than most hybrid-electric cars today. Some electric cars get the equivalent of about 100 mpg and more. Plus, they will only get better.

      1. Solar and wind are “occasional power”. All solar and wind power needs to be backed up by “reliable power” which does not just go away when the weather changes. So, that means coal, natural gas, or nuclear. Most of the country does not have access to hydroelectric. By the way, it is not good news that coal companies are going bankrupt. Coal today is actually clean, but there are religious cultists who do happy tribal dances when coal and gasoline companies struggle. These cultists oddly are happy consumers of the heat and electricity and travel enabled by coal and gas.

        1. Exactly how is coal ‘clean’???

          Hydroelectric seems to be quite inexpensive to build (when fossil fuel lobby doesn’t put artificial obstacles) and even less expensive to maintain, and the result is a sustained, continuous, reliable power with zero carbon footprint. Where I come from, it provides vast majority of the energy.

        2. Agree. But no one is saying the world will not need fossil fuels as we transition to renewables. The key question is: do we want to move towards using more renewables and less fossil fuels, or the other way around ? Plus, solar and battery technology are getting better all the time.

          Besides, who is against old-fashioned conservation: ie, using less ? The (previous) Pope, himself, said it was a sin to waste resources. People can buy cars that use 1/2 or 1/3 of the gas needed by other cars. Homes could be heated today with half the energy compared with houses 40 years ago …except house sizes have increased in size (because they are so cheap to heat!). It’s crazy. LEDs consume only 2 to 3% of the power needed by incandescent bulbs; they are easy to switch.

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