Apple continues taking steps toward the electric vehicle (EV) business, as the company has made contact with multiple South Korean EV component manufacturers regarding “Apple Car,” an industry source told The Korea Times on Monday.
“Apple officials have been in Korea for business talks with its Korean partners in the semiconductor and display sectors. As seen in Apple’s smartphone business, the company is seeking business partners in Korea for its EV business,” a senior industry executive directly involved with the issue told The Korea Times… “As far as I know, Apple has talked with LG, SK and Hanwha, but the talks are still in the early stages.”
Thoughts are that Apple had “advanced meetings” with SK Innovation, the EV battery-making arm of SK Group, and LG Electronics, which recently established the joint venture, LG Magna e-Powertrain, along with Canada-based auto parts maker Magna International. Representatives from SK and LG Electronics said that it is hard to confirm whether such meetings occurred. The Korea Times was the first to report that LG Magna was very near to winning volume orders to produce Apple’s first-generation EV.
Apple is considering using a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, which is less likely to overheat and is therefore safer, compared to lithium-ion batteries, which most Korean battery makers are currently manufacturing.
Made of lithium and iron phosphate, LFP batteries show weaker performances at colder temperatures than lithium-ion batteries, but they cost less. In the LFP battery business, mainland Chinese makers take the lead, as there are no Korean makers producing the batteries.
MacDailyNews Take: In mid-July, DigiTimes reported that Apple is looking to manufacture batteries for “Apple Car” in America and may work with Taiwanese makers. Apple’s new vehicle battery design could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range, the report stated, citing “a third person who has seen Apple’s battery design.”
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]