There have been rumors flying around for months about the “Apple Car” — a project believed to be under development by Apple to produce an electric vehicle (EV). Confirmed details about the project are scarce, though just this week a new report suggested that the proposed vehicle would be fully autonomous and would be able to operate without a human driver.
Now, though, there may be a kink in Apple’s plans. Apple has been in talks with Hyundai and Kia about potentially collaborating to produce an electric vehicle, but according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, these talks are now “paused.”
Bloomberg says this may be because Apple is unhappy that Hyundai confirmed it was in talks with Apple last month and then withdrew its statement. Another contentious issue is apparently whether the car would be produced under the Hyundai or Kia brands (both brands are owned by the same parent company, Hyundai Motor Group).
It’s not clear if the companies will resume discussions in the future, or whether the potential collaboration is falling through altogether.
However, this doesn’t mean that Apple is left without any auto industry partners for its project. According to the same sources, Apple has been in similar talks with other companies in the auto industry, although no names were given for which companies these were.
Apple has not officially commented on the rumors. And reportedly, some at Apple are unhappy that reports of talks about the EV project are being made public, as the company prefers to develop its new projects in secret.
The final design for the Apple Car has not yet been decided, and industry experts predict it won’t be launched until 2028 or even later. Other reports about the Apple Car include rumors that it will feature “breakthrough battery technology” which could go toe-to-toe with the technology used by Tesla, one of the biggest names in EV development which would presumably be the main competition for any future Apple Car EV.