Apple Corporation (AAPL) is reportedly designing a revolutionary battery electric vehicle that will provide a substantial range improvement at an even reduced cost than existing battery technology while still delivering self-driving functionality. The so-called Plan Titan of Apple has been said to schedule the start of development for the year 2024, while pandemic-related delays will drive production into or above 2025. If Apple progresses, this poses a threat in the innovative electric vehicle industry for Tesla, Corporation (TSLA).

Since its inception in the year 2014, the Project Titan has been shrouded in secrecy, as well as its strategic value was evidently on the wane in the year 2019, when 190 team members were officially laid off. Doug Field, a seasoned Apple worker who quit to work for Tesla, returned to supervise Titan in 2018. Apple’s electric vehicle is expected to become a mass-market product targeted at the general customer to be used as a daily car, as per sources involved with the system requested not to be mentioned. By comparison, through its Waymo subsidiary, Alphabet, Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL) has concentrated on creating driverless taxis.

A significant advancement in battery design is expected to be the crucial aspect of Apple’s electric car, which simultaneously promises “radically” a low price and expanded range. In particular, LiDAR sensors, including those launched in the year 2020 in iPhone 12 Pro as well as iPad Pro models, are likely to be major elements of self-driving systems, offering three-dimensional viewpoints of the road as well as other environments. Regarding batteries, its use of the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry is currently being studied by Apple. These are not as dense as other battery types, but power cells from LFP are less susceptible to overheating and therefore do not have cobalt.

The importance of becoming cobalt-free is that even the Democratic Republic of Congo accounts for even more than 60 percent of the world’s output, as well as the mines within this nation have become infamous for using child labor. For Apple, producing and selling vehicles at a profit would be a significant challenge.  Tesla spent 17 years as a reference point before that could produce sustainable income. It is more probable that Apple will locate a manufacturing partner instead of developing manufacturing operations from scratch. Likewise, Apple may scale back its plans and create an autonomous driving system for sale to existing car manufacturers instead.

“If Apple produces some innovative operating system or even battery tech, this would be mainly applied in collaboration with an established supplier under license. As we’ve seen with Tesla as well as the legacy car manufacturers, having a very complicated production network around the globe does not happen overnight,” stated Trip Miller, Gullane Capital Partners managing director.

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