Building a car from scratch is no mean feat, and the latest from the vine is that the forthcoming Apple car could use Hyundai’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) vehicle architecture, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, reports MacRumors.
First revealed by Hyundai in December, the E-GMP is the Korean automaker’s first dedicated battery-electric vehicle platform that will underpin model from Hyundai, Kia, Ioniq and Genesis. Kuo writes in his latest TF Securities investor note that he believes the forthcoming Apple vehicle will use the Hyundai E-GMP as its base, MacRumors reported.
The tech giant’s potential collaborations with automotive manufacturers does not end there, with General Motors and PSA (now part of Stellantis) in its sights, Kuo was quoted as saying. “Apple’s deep collaboration with current automakers (Hyundai Group, GM and PSA) who have extensive development, production and qualification experience will significantly shorten the Apple Car development time and create a time-to-market advantage,” he said.
This collaboration will see Apple “leverage the automakers’ resources and focus on self-driving hardware and software, semiconductors, battery-related technologies, form factor and internal space designs, user experience and integration with Apple’s existing ecosystem,” he continued.
Should the Apple Car prove to be successful, this could see Apple pursue subsequent, regional partnerships with General Motors and PSA, Apple Insider suggests. A journey begins with the first step, however, and Kuo predicts the Apple Car to arrive no sooner than 2025, given the longer development lead time, stricter validation requirements, a more complex supply chain and ‘very different’ sales and after-sales service expectations compared to consumer electronics.
Kuo predicts that Hyundai Mobis will be in charge of design and production for selected Apple Car components, and Kia will provide the United States production line for the Apple Car in Georgia. The car that Apple eventually reveals is expected to be marketed as a “very high-end” model, Kuo suggests, or at least “significantly higher” in product positioning compared to mainstream EVs.
Foxconn, who is already developing components for EVs, will likely not be involved with the Apple Car project, he adds. As of last month, Kia was rumoured to the charged with the EV project as Hyundai was rumoured to want to distance itself from the project for brand reputation concerns.
This followed news earlier in January that Hyundai and Apple were due to sign a partnership for autonomous electric vehicles by March, with an aim of commencing production in the United States by 2024, though a separate news source at the time gave a 2027 timeline for the launch of the self-driving EV.
This comes after news emerged that Project Titan, the working title for the tech giant’s autonomous EV project, resurfaced last December, touted with a new battery design that is said to be both more compact and contain more active material for greater driving range.
Having first emerged in 2015, the original Project Titan goal of producing a complete vehicle was scaled back in 2016 to focus on developing software and an autonomous driving system. More than 200 personnel were dismissed from the project, seemingly closing the chapter on Project Titan before its re-emergence last December.
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