Rumors of an Apple car have surfaced in recent months, with tech and auto enthusiasts salivating at the idea of the tech giant entering the auto market in the near future.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has surprisingly encouraged Apple’s rumored plan to build its own electric car, according to the BBC, and has even declared Apple’s intentions to dive into the auto industry as an “open secret” during his interview with the British outlet at his Los Angeles design studio.
“It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” Musk said in response to the rumors of an Apple car.
Apple has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors of their plans to build their own electric vehicle, but the evidence surfacing that supports the notion of an Apple car is hard to ignore.
According to MacWorld, the tech giant employed executives and experts from companies such as Tesla, Chrysler, Nvidia, and advanced battery-maker A123 Systems throughout 2015, with the latter suing Apple for allegedly poaching employees.
The site 9to5Mac breaks down a list of some of Apple’s relevant new hires in 2015, which includes more than a couple former Tesla employees.
The tech company has also been in search for a private facility for what many assume is conducting tests on their auto prototype, and have been in talks with a former naval facility east of San Francisco that’s being rebuilt into a top secret testing ground for autonomous vehicles, according to USA Today.
With the aforementioned information making the rounds, it’s evident why the Tesla CEO is confident that Apple is putting together their own electric vehicle that will rival those on the market.
In his interview with BBC, Elon Musk declared that he believes all transport (with the exception of rockets) will eventually become electric. He also praised his company, Tesla, for nurturing the electric boom and encouraging other auto companies to follow suit in order to effectively evolve into a new generation of transportation.
“It will expand the industry,” Musk told the British media outlet Monday. “Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well.”
He added that companies like Apple have the capability of building a “compelling” electric car and their presence will only benefit the electric auto industry, which, along with making the products more affordable/attainable to the public, is the main goal after all.
Tesla has already proved that its model vehicles are not only innovative, but also preferred among car retailers and buyers that can afford them. They are among the top brand in electric vehicles along with rivaling companies, Nissan and BMW.
Reports have indicated that Tesla will have a more affordable vehicle named ” the Model 3″ available by 2017.
This past week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlighted the transition auto makers are making to adapt to a new generation of auto consumers.
General Motors revealed its new electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt, which will have the capability of driving 200 miles on pure electric energy. The car is said to be valued at $37,500.
China-backed company Faraday Future also unveiled a 1000-hp electric race car at CES last week, which, though impractical, shows the power these electric engines can carry.
Along with speaking on the relevance of electric transportation, Musk added that electric cars that do not have the capability to be autonomous will eventually become obsolete, adding that self driving will “become more of a hobby than a necessity” and envisioning a future where humans are removed from the driving process altogether.
One benefit Apple will have — should the rumors be true and they manufacture their own electric vehicle — is the existing market for the product. Having access to consumer preferences along with seeing what other companies are doing wrong should prove useful to the tech giant in their attempt to thrust into the auto industry.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)