The long-rumored Apple electric vehicle is, sources claimed back in December, heading for a potential 2024 launch. A key component for the alleged Apple car is, of course, batteries, which a previous leak claimed would feature a monocell design to target a higher power density. The latest leak on the topic indicates batteries may also be a big problem for Apple moving forward with its EV project.
Apple’s talks with two Chinese battery makers, BYD and CATL, have slowed considerably over their refusal to meet demands, sources speaking to Reuters claim. Of particular issue seems to be Apple’s alleged requirements for the Chinese battery makers to establish factories in the US dedicated to its EV battery needs.
The report alleges that at some point in the past couple of months, both Chinese battery makers told Apple they won’t be able to meet its requirements, the reasons for which are said to include everything from political tensions between China and the US to a lack of personnel for establishing an Apple-exclusive product development team.
Though the sources say Apple isn’t ready to give up on either of the two battery makers, they also say the company has started exploring the potential for Japanese battery makers to fulfill its needs instead. Panasonic was name-dropped as a potential company of interest, though neither it nor Apple has confirmed such rumors. The sources claim an Apple group went to Japan in October as part of this exploration.
Apple still hasn’t publicly revealed its electric vehicle plans, though rumors about it — under the larger Project Titan effort — have been around for several years. The company was said initially be planning its own EV for consumers, later shifting focus to automotive technologies that it would license to automakers. The latest report back in December indicated the EV plans are back on, but it could be years still before anything firm is announced.