The Apple Car project has been on-again, off-again for the last several years. Most people who followed the project when it was first revealed thought the project was dead. However, a rumor surfaced that Apple is moving forward with the project and that it was in talks with battery manufacturers.
Battery manufacturers specifically named in alleged talks with Apple were CATL and BYD, both based in China. According to the report, the project has stalled again. This time, it was Apple’s demand for certain concessions to sign a deal allowing the companies to supply batteries for its project that have brought the project to a stop. Sources claiming to be familiar with the project say Apple wanted one of the battery manufacturers to build a US team and battery production plant in the US before it would sign any deal.
According to the sources, both battery manufacturers declined to meet Apple’s demand. CATL reportedly decided not to hire US teams or build a factory in the states based on tensions between the US and China. BYD on the other hand, was allegedly uncomfortable building a complete factory only for Apple’s use.
It’s certainly easy to understand the reservations of a battery manufacturer against building a factory and hiring a team of workers with investment likely of millions of dollars solely from one customer. However, there is a massive demand for batteries for electric vehicles, and it would seem a demand would be there from other automakers if Apple’s plans changed.
Rumors suggest that with Chinese options having dried up, Apple is approaching Japanese battery manufacturers. As for which Japanese company Apple is talking to, that is a mystery for now. Batteries continue to be one of the biggest bottlenecks facing automakers looking to get heavily into the electric vehicle market.