Apple reportedly cancels electric car project

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Probable internal meeting

Apple execs: We can make a much better electric car than BYD, but they can make an electric car that sells for 66% our break even cost.

Cook: well fuck


Where’s my mini-cooper with a swappable battery like the Nio so that one can go to the ‘gas station’ and swap-a-roo zoom out with a full charge in 3.1416 minutes; and not thumb twiddle 27min for a sad surface charge? …dammit. Provide this (even without an iPad duct-taped to the console) and ye will make big market money, oh eeeevil car manufacturers (who aren’t listening)


The biggest reason battery swapping stations haven’t taken off is because you’d need cooperation between all the major car manufacturers if you wanted to build a non-proprietary battery swapping infrastructure. Good luck getting Tesla, Nissan, Honda, Ford etc. to all agree to a single battery standard.


They can make one for 20% of our cost plus extraordinary profit margin we normally get on hardware.

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I firmly believe that the point is not to make a car, but to spend as much money as you can on R&D, rather than have to pay tax on it.
Apple has dozens of unlikely projects on the go at any one time. They come, they go, they swop places, place your bets…


If quick-swappable batteries ever become a big thing in American cars, I highly doubt that Apple will be the ones to bring them to us. They pioneered phones that didn’t have removable batteries, and now even their laptop batteries are glued in place:


Also: because there is a lot of effort going into developing structural batteries to save weight and increase range. Those can’t also be swappable.


I heard the biggest hurdle they ran into was negative feedback from people on putting the charging port on the undercarriage of the car.


Can you truly cancel something that’s been vaporware for years?


The idea of a Genius Garage is abhorrent.

The horror.


Nah, it uses a big wireless charger that you park over… but it takes three times as long to charge.


Apple hasn’t historically been the type to be jumpy about the fact that you can do the same product category cheaper if you do it worse.

I wonder if they suspect that won’t go over as well at vehicle price points; or if they are having real trouble coming up with ways in which a hypothetical iCar will actually be better in ways that are tricky to clone and worth paying for than analogous offerings will be.

There’s definitely no way that the margins they want are going to exist at the low end of the market; but that’s true of basically everything they do, they just don’t bother going there. If they don’t think that’s an option here (despite their definitely being a market for ‘luxury’ brands and more or less gratuitously expensive trim packages in more mainstream ones) there must be something that they think is not analogous to their experience elsewhere.

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You can also use a lightning cable.


Yeah, ever since Apple announced their car project there has been speculation that the goal wasn’t to eventually build Apple carts cars, but to develop software (and maybe components) to sell to car manufacturers. Possibly even everything you need for fully autonomous driving except the car.

Maybe shutting down the project means that they now think that fully autonomous driving isn’t just around the corner after all and/or any company sticking with it by now have developed systems that are so overbearingly proprietary that making anything developed by Apple fit in would just take too much effort to be worth it.


Additional information, links:


My guess is Tim Cook finally had time to catch up on some blog reading


Apple CarPlay for example.

A lot of people assume that the reason for R&D is the thing that the company says it’s for, instead of all the other things that research can be applied to. The Segway is a great example- It was never about scooters, it was about wheelchairs first with robotics and aerospace applications later. Scooters were just supposed to be the mass market version of the tech that paid for the real product.

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Plus (as evidenced in UK) if they can’t even manage to install chargers in sufficient quantity, or in places they are needed, and/or that actually work for more than a day or two without breaking down, etc… well, if they cannot even manage that level of infrastructure building, there is no chance f building the massive network infrastructure that would be needed for a network of battery-swap service stations.

Or a lightning conductor?

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