Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Hundreds of Apple Employees Working On Apple-Branded Electric Vehicle


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Following up on today's report suggesting that Apple is recruiting automotive technology and vehicle design experts to work in a secret research lab, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is developing an electric vehicle.

According to the publication's sources, Apple has hundreds of employees working to design an Apple-branded minivan-like electric vehicle under the code name Project Titan. The large size of the team indicates that the company is serious about the project, but it's possible that Apple may not go through with plans to create a car despite its current research efforts.

One of the mysterious Apple-leased vehicles seen on Bay Area streets, courtesy of a MacRumors Reader​
Apple may decide not to proceed with a car. In addition, many technologies used in an electric car, such as advanced batteries and in-car electronics, would be useful to other Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad. Apple often investigates technologies and potential products, going as far as building multiple prototypes for some things that it won't ever sell. Any product would take several years to complete and obtain safety certifications.
Apple executives have reportedly flown to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers of high-end cars, like Magna Steyr, who would presumably work with Apple on creating the cars if the project proceeds.

The car project, which is not focused on self-driving vehicles, is said to have been approved by Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2014. Steve Zadesky, Apple VP of Product Design and former Ford engineer, is said to be leading Apple's car development efforts.

Rumors that Apple is working on a vehicle first started circulating last week after mysterious vans equipped with cameras and leased to Apple were spotted on Bay Area streets. Speculation led some to believe the cars were for a possible mapping project, while others postulated that they were self driving vehicles.

It's not known if the vans are related to Apple's rumored electric car project, but they roused enough interest to lead to its discovery. Earlier this week, an Apple employee who saw the car rumors told Business Insider that Tesla employees had been leaving the car company to work on an Apple project that was "too exciting to pass up" and that would "give Tesla a run for its money."

That rumor led Financial Times to discover Apple's efforts to recruit vehicle experts, such as former Mercedes-Benz R&D President and CEO Johann Jungwirth, who joined Apple back in September, which in turn led to the uncovering of the full scope of "Project Titan" at Apple.

Article Link: Hundreds of Apple Employees Working On Apple-Branded Electric Vehicle


macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2011
That new campus makes so much sense now, there is a big test track in the basement.


macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2010
Personally I can't see Apple straying so far from their core business...there's something fishy about this.


macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
Sounds very interesting, but I'd have to sell both my kidneys, my neighbor's house, and probably my eternal soul to afford it.


macrumors 68030
Feb 28, 2009
I hope to hell this isn't where Apple takes a left turn into the morass.


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
I don't buy this Apple making a car crap. Apple doesn't want to sell you a car, they want you to buy a car that's all Apple electronics and software inside.

But if they did build a car, dare I say it would be snappy?


macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
I don't buy this. It would've been much easier for Apple to buy Tesla, a growing valuable brand establishing itself in the industry as the one to follow, who already has cars in production and who's company philosophy is already closely aligned with Apple's.


macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
It would be better for Apple to buy or partner with Tesla instead. Tesla is working on improving the battery cells and that's always something that Apple wants.

I suspect Apple is not working on building a car but instead doing an R&D project to figure out new innovations to improve various technologies, such as batteries, better interfaces for CarPlay, sensors (like automatic driving, the AI work alone can improve iOS's sensor framework), and so on. A car can do so much for Apple than trying to come up with different hardware projects.

Again, partnering with Tesla in this case will benefit both companies at the same time without competing.


macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2014
So that's why Tesla is hiring employees away from Apple :D

Now I see why Musk has been saying things about Apple(tesla will be as large as Apple in 10 years, we're hiring Apple employees, etc). He's feeling threatened by Apple.


macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
This will be dope! Of course, we probably won't see it until 2020ish, though. But, nevertheless, I'm loving the idea of this. Apple has WAY too much money...hell, why not invest in something huge like a vehicle...they have the money to think BIGGER than computers, phones, tablets and watches right now.


macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
The thick of it
This was Steve's vision

... for the Apple TV, an entertainment center on wheels.

I have no idea what to believe out of these rumors. I can't imagine Apple ever marketing an Apple Car unless they could integrate the entire system (the roads, the charging stations, the garages, etc...). I think the WSJ quote is closer to the truth, testing technologies that Apple could use in other areas.

An electric car does fit in with Apple's pursuit of green technologies though.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.