Apple reportedly cancels electric car project

Despite never being officially announced, Apple’s rumoured electric car project has apparently been shelved.

Thred Media
3 min readFeb 29, 2024

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Apple has apparently cancelled plans to build electric vehicles, after ten years of rumours and speculation that it was working on such a project.

According to Bloomberg News, many employees previously involved with electric vehicles will now be moved over to Apple’s artificial intelligence division.

The company had spent billions on research and development for electric cars, and was reportedly planning to eventually launch fully autonomous vehicles that did not include steering wheels or pedals.

There was no specific release window, but Apple had expected to be ‘at least years away’ from production.

Speaking to the BBC, founder of Constellation Research Ray Wang said that it was a ‘smart and long awaited decision’. This is hardly surprising given that the market for electric vehicles is still not widely popular.

AI, meanwhile, has taken the creative world by storm and is likely to become a serious game-changer for our working lives in the coming years. Apple will want to maintain a foot in the rat race of AI content generation and its resources are likely better off in that division.

Still, from an environmental perspective, some may be disappointed at the news.

While Tesla has helped to popularise electric cars as a viable alternative to petrol and diesel, the demand has begun to slow in recent months. Reports in early January indicated that sales were dropping and that momentum was ‘slipping’.

Ford and General Motors postponed plans to expand electric vehicle production recently, and Tesla warned last month that its sales growth would be weaker than 2023.

What’s caused the slow down?

While electric cars are becoming more widely accepted and the norm, charging networks are still limited. Outside of big, capital cities, you’ll struggle to find regular stations to ‘refuel’. It’s a big pain point for your everyday consumer.

By comparison, service stations are everywhere, and most of us don’t even think about where we’ll be fuelling up next time we’re in need of petrol.

Another likely reason is that early, enthusiastic buyers have all gotten their fill. The first wave of purchases for electric vehicles will have come from technophiles, wealthy households, and climate-conscious buyers.

With that keen consumer base covered, the next step is to introduce entry-level cars that regular people will want. That takes time — and cheaper technology.

Lastly, high-interest rates post-pandemic will have likely affected the production of electric vehicles. They already cost a fair bit more (sometimes upwards of 30%) than regular vehicles to produce, and economies have seen interest rates rise massively since COVID 19. This means that producing electric cars has become more costly.

Given that they need to be cheaper in order to entice lower income drivers, it’s unsurprising that sales are slumping.

Still, Apple’s supposed pull away from the market is a blow to electric vehicles and their future. We’ll have to see if it’ll negatively impact the industry’s potential moving forward.

Originally written by Charlie Coombs for Thred.

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