Project Titan has gone through many phases since its introduction into the rumor mill in 2015. For a while, Apple had focused on autonomous driving technology rather than hardware. Although the actual car is still several years away, most publications now believe that Apple is once again aiming to ship an actual electric vehicle. Digitimes today has a report on the battery supply chain.
Recent hiring news continue to show Apple’s push to make an actual vehicle. Last month, Bloomberg reported Apple has hired a long-term employee from BMW who led development of the BMW i3 electric vehicle. Apple also brought onboard Porsche’s Vice President of chassis development earlier in the year.
Digitimes says Apple is insistent that battery packs for its electric vehicle will be produced inside the United States.
Apple has apparently held preliminary discussions with China’s biggest battery suppliers, CATL and BYD, but it seemingly demands domestic production. Foxconn is in prime position to scoop up orders, as the key iPhone assembler plans to set up battery and EV car factories in the US soon.
There have been a lot of Apple Car supply chain partnership rumors recently, although none of those rumors have come to fruition as of yet. For a while, Apple was said to be in talks with Hyundai and Kia although those negotiations apparently fizzled out as Apple did not want the car to be branded as anything but Apple.
In March, Bloomberg said that Foxconn or Magna were very likely manufacturing partners for the Apple Car. Bloomberg quoted an Apple employee who said ‘Foxconn is used to having Apple engineers tell it what to do’.
Subsequently in April, The Korea Times had a report claiming that Apple was very near to signing a deal with LG and Magna. Several months later, though, it doesn’t seem like that has happened.