Tesla’s Elon Musk surprised Apple hasn’t already built its own car

“The Apple Car has been the subject of countless rumors and speculative reports in the past few months,” Ronan Glon reports for Digital Trends.

“While we still don’t know for sure what’s going on at Apple’s home base in Cupertino, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes that an Apple-badged car would make a lot of sense,” Glon reports. “In fact, he’s surprised it hasn’t happened yet.”

Glon reports, “‘I think they should have embarked on this project sooner. They don’t share with me the details, but I don’t think there will be volume production sooner than 2020. It’s a missed opportunity,’ said the executive during Vox Media’s Code Conference.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see how much of a “missed opportunity” it turns out to be.

Apple explores charging stations for electric vehicles, sources say – May 25, 2016
Apple seeking 800,000 sq. ft. of Bay area space for Apple Car project as team reaches 600 people – May 6, 2016
Apple’s lease of old Sunnyvale Pepsi bottling plant hints at Project Titan expansion – March 1, 2016
Apple silent on mysterious noises coming from clandestine complex – February 27, 2016
Loud, late-night ‘motor noises’ emanate from Apple’s secret vehicle testing center – February 11, 2016
Apple Car: Forget ‘electric,’ think hydrogen fuel cells – February 20, 2015
Inside Apple’s top-secret ‘Titan’ electric car project – March 13, 2015
Apple working with Intelligent Energy on fuel cell technology for mobile devices, sources say – July 14, 2014
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011


    1. Hydrogen? Please. Why would I give up the convenience of fueling my vehicle at home? Why should I need to travel somewhere on a weekly basis just to keep my vehicle operating?

      I don’t have to use a special filling station for my phone, I don’t want to use it for my car.

    1. And electric cars may not be the panacea promised by the ‘greenies.’

      Physicists & researchers looking at the total polution from mining to manufacturing to distribution to customers, tire and break wear and power system pollution. The experts concluded recently that lifetime polution from electric cars are not significantly less than, you guessed it, gasoline powered cars.

      To me, this means that the only available means to reduced pollution is auto avoidance, carpooling and the design of autos that have lifetimes of 15-20 year, instead of the average around 7 years now.

      That indeed means there is a business opportunity out there. It is just not the same as the 20th century.

      1. It’s just just about pollution from tailpipes, though… is it? It’s noise pollution, it’s comfort, performance, and all-around a better product. Other than range and cold-weather performance ( linked to range ), in what ways to electric cars not better than ICE cars? They are more modular, have better weight distribution, fewer moving parts, smaller engines, quieter output, and nicer smelling exhaust. They are simpler machines.

        They also don’t require an entire industry dedicated to fueling them. Think about that for a moment. There’s an entire industry that is devoted to moving around and storing large tanks of combustible liquid, just so you can operate a vehicle for a few days. Electric cars allow you to just keep it charged at home… like your phone.

        There will always be studies regarding the TeCO ( Total environment Cost of Ownership ) of electric cars. And “Expert” is a relative term that is thrown around a lot these days.

        The fact is, though… the cars themselves are less polluting. What’s easier, cleaning 300 million tailpipes, or 30 power plants?

        Brake wear is significantly reduced due to regenerative braking. The cars are more reliable, should last longer, and with fewer parts to wear down, are a better investment for most consumers. Automobiles that make small explosions 3000 times a minute are more prone to break down… go figure.

        In the end, simple will always win. Electric cars are much simpler.

        1. bluemeansgo, you are right as far as you go.

          Now imagine that Apple takes it further. It designs a chassis that can be relatively easily upgraded, with more damage resistant body parts. Interior components that are changeable and upgradeable more easily than current cars.

          There is an awful lot of effort put into “flashy” design elements that often change every year that don’t add anything to the practical use of the car.

          I am just looking at the opportunities that might be open.

          1. You expect a company that seals every box it can to make an upgradeable car?
            Apple sealed the laptops, most iMacs, the Mac mini, now took the battery access away from mice, trackpads and keyboards.
            Every phone they have sold and every iPod is sealed.

            Good luck hoping for that.

        2. Correct ICE cars are getting Howard’s a plateau in terms of effeiciency and pollution limits. Electric cars give more scope internally through drive flexibility and externally through the fuel production process to progress those standards substantially. Once range and more importantly the ability to recharge quickly becomes competitive expect a considerable advancement in its overall performance and benefits. Tesla is showing that tipping point is getting ever closer.

          1. And I don’t think range is as big a deal as people think it is. In most countries, people don’t travel really long distances by car. In the US, the general population is wealthy enough to have the luxury of multiple vehicles, so it’s less of an issue.

            The big challenge in most places will be HOME CHARGING infrastructure. It’s a strength and a weakness. This modal shift when you have many people in condos in parking garages… is good if people buy in as shared chargers are way more affordable. But you have to get consensus… and people will be less likely to buy in if they have to fight to charge at home. Tesla ( and Apple ) are attacking this problem in the right way. Target wealthy people who have the money and influence to change people’s minds.

            It’s the same way that iPhones made their way through organizations from the CEO down. iPhones were a Top of the line phone first. A $800 phone that really shined when coupled with a more expensive monthly data plan. Your average consumer paid no more than about $100… the iPhone was an aspirational product.

            The Apple car will be no different. I don’t know if they will go AS high-end as Tesla did with the roadster, but their initial car surely will not be Chevy Bolt territory or even Model 3. We’re likely to see pricing along the lines of the i3, or Model S to start with.

            Remember, these cars will last a LOT longer then ICE cars. Lower maintenance, fewer moving parts. I’d guess that you’ll change the batteries out a couple of times before the EOL of the car.

      2. “The experts concluded…that lifetime polution from electric cars are not significantly less”.
        First of all, that’s a very broad assertion that’s contingent on a whole host of assumptions, and you haven’t provided a reference.
        Second, it’s “is not”, because uncountable nouns are treated as singular.
        Third, it matters a lot whether the energy used by the car for driving comes from coal or solar.
        Fourth, much of the “pollution” involved in manufacturing cars is not comprised of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is these which are causing climate change.
        If the goal is to reduce climate change, then producing cars that run on solar- or wind-generated electricity will definitely help.
        As for pollution from “tire and brake wear”, a) this does not consist of greenhouse gas emissions, and b) it’s about the same for vehicles of similar weight.

  1. Lets reject the inconvenient facts for the propaganda, Electric cars are not really simpler systems, they are as complex as any other vehicle. They will more than likely in most people’s lifetimes never have the range to replace a gas or diesel powered vehicle.

    The idea that it will only take “30” power plants when potentially millions of people would be recharging vehicles for hours, is just ludicrous.

    Hybrids and Hydrogen are probably the best options out there.. Quick Charge systems will not get you far.. Though it might get you home in a pinch.. but it won’t get you across any significant distance if your no where near a charging station.

    I’ve seen no proof that an electric car is more reliable than one with gas or diesel. The only obvious fact is that since you cannot drive more than a ~100-130 miles on a charge on most of them, you never really accumulate the milage of a car that does not have that limitation.

    Course we soldier on, trying to perfect at the electric car that will never ever have the range or recharge time in the foreseeable future that people traveling long distance will require. Plus the media’s constant barrage of poor math and unrealistic statistics on costs and other factors to continue to muddy the water..

    1. Your comments are pretty plainly false. Battery tech improves at a rate of 5% per year on average. Assuming that rate stays stagnant (unlikely), battery tech will be 50% better inside of a decade.

  2. I’m more than a little surprised Elon hasn’t been successful in getting rocket ship to Mars. His company has been working on rocket ships for years. You’d think they would have figured everything out by now. Rocket ships aren’t anything new. It’s no mystery how they work. It’s just a metal tube with some fins. Put enough fuel in them and then shoot them off to the Red Planet. In fact, they really missed a great opportunity a few days ago when Mars was at its closest to earth. Heck, I can see Mars from my front porch. I don’t see what’s holding him up.

    1. But then you stop and think, “Wow! SpaceX accomplished something only nation states could do prior to their coming on the scene.” And they did it faster, cheaper, and better than anyone else.

  3. Even if Apple does make a car, I’ll be sticking with Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk is executing across several world-changing fronts, and is arguably the most important person since Ford, Edison, and the like; whereas Apple makes cute toys for grown-ups.

    Any excitement I once felt about Apple in the last two decades has been refocused on SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity.

  4. Apple should buy Tesla and put Elon Musk in charge of the combined company. Tim Cook can go back to what he’s good at and Apple can get back to doing what they used to be good at.

  5. Elon Musk’s comments highlight just how difficult the apple car project will be. The tesla is a wonderful product but is made in such tiny numbers and sold at such high prices it remains a boutique item at best. Tesla has been at it for years but they still lose money, and they still dont ship a car for someone who isn’t a 2%’er even if they are taking orders for one.

    Apple is behind Tesla. They may be working hard on a prototype but it will be a long time before one ships in numbers. Where will it be made? How will it be serviced? Where will all that steel aluminum or carbon fiber come from? Will apple’s design trend of zero upgradeability, access, or repair options hold? Will we all need to lose tremendous amounts of weight just to squeeze in the door of its iphone inspired chassis? Are they planning on competing with uber and lyft by deploying self driving cars that only apple owns?

    We have a long long way to go before “one more thing” is really about an apple car.

  6. makes me think of the side-by-side picts of phones before and phones after the introduction of the iPhone. then there were cars before and cars afterward. i mean, isn’t that the way it is. so many honorable people in the world. please apple, don’t build a single item of those vehicles in china

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