Apple Car – Tech giant in talks with Toyota, Korean battery suppliers for production to commence 2024

It appears that the Apple Car is making headway, as Apple representatives have reportedly been in talks with Toyota in order to finally move forward towards production, according to Digi Times Asia. The tech giant’s visits to the carmaker and suppliers in Japan are part of the groundwork to be laid for the development and the production of its fully electric vehicle, according to the report.

Prior to its Japan visit, suppliers that Apple has engaged in talks with included Panasonic, LG, Samsung as well as SK Innovation, a tech industry executive with knowledge of the matter told The Korea Times. Those talks however are in their early stages, though another, earlier report noted that joint venture LG Magna e-Powertrain was very close to securing orders towards the production of the Apple Car.

Apple is said to be considering lithium ion phosphate (LFP) battery technology, which is less likely to overheat and therefore safer than lithium-ion batteries, which most Korean battery manufacturers are producing, said The Korea Times. Though LFP batteries demonstrated weaker performance at lower temperatures, they cost less than lithium-ion batteries.

On the flip-side, there are no Korean battery firms producing LFP batteries, notes The Korean Times, which means that Chinese battery manufacturers firmly have the lead in this area, and industry views are that Apple is likely to use LFP batteries from said Chinese suppliers.

That said, Korean battery firms could benefit from the Apple Car project due to ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China. Chinese manufacturers such as CATL and BYD accounted for 30.8 GWh of production last year, or 47% of all EV batteries produced.

Known as Project Titan, Apple’s self-driving car project resurfaced in December last year as Reuters reported that the tech firm is working to produce a passenger car that will bring a breakthrough in battery technology, with another source saying at the time that it could radically reduce the cost of batteries and increase the Apple Car’s battery range.

It has been a prolonged series of ups and downs with regard to the development of the Apple Car, or Project Titan as it has been known. The tech giant was reportedly set to sign a partnership deal with Hyundai/Kia at the beginning of this year, though the Korean manufacturers quashed the rumour shortly thereafter. Project Titan began in 2015, before it was downscaled to the development of autonomous technologies in 2016.

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