Apple is developing its electric vehicle independently without the assistance of another automaker and is currently selecting final parts suppliers, according to sources said to be familiar with Apple’s plans speaking to Korea’s Maeil Economic Daily.
In line with a previous report from Reuters, the report explains that the company has had its own automobile hardware research and development unit since 2014, but due to development challenges, it contacted BMW, Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota to explore joint development and contract production agreements.
During this period, its own department for vehicle hardware research and development virtually is believed to have stopped operating around 2016. Separately, software research on self-driving continued.
The talks with automakers apparently fell apart due to repeated delays and the wider industry transformation toward electric vehicles slowing down the progress of any joint development and production agreement. There was also reluctance from some large automakers about becoming a manufacturing subcontractor for Apple. Apple is believed to have decided that it could not delay the launch of its car any further.
With these talks stalling, Apple has entirely turned once again to its own development and restored the full operation of its vehicle research unit. Although Doug Field, Apple’s vice president of special projects, recently left the project to join Ford, the company is still believed to have hundreds of engineers working on the vehicle.
Apple has now gone through the process of sending a Request for Information (RFI), Request for Proposal (RFP), and Request for Quotation (RFQ) to global automobile part manufacturers, which is understood to be a signal that the final parts suppliers for Apple’s car are now being selected for outsourced production.
Mirroring the analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, the report places the launch of the vehicle around 2025 to 2027, with Apple’s sales revenue expected to increase by approximately $64 million as a consequence.