Revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a bunch of previously unknown details concerning Project Titan, Apple’s rumored electric vehicle project.
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.
On average, an electric vehicle contains about 40-50x more parts than a smartphone.
Apple has no other choice but to partner with suppliers and existing automobile makers if it really wants to release an electric vehicle of its own within a few years. “If Apple wants to build a complete automotive supply chain on its own, the Apple Car will be released significantly later than 2025 and hurt the competitive advantage,” Kuo said.
An industry collaboration
We believe that Apple will leverage current automakers’ resources and focus on self-driving hardware and software, semiconductors, battery-related technologies, form factor and internal space designs, innovative user experience and the integration with Apple’s existing ecosystem.
While the Apple Car should be built in collaboration with Hyundai, subsequent models could be produced in cooperation with US-based General Motors and European manufacturer PSA. It will be a “significantly higher-end” product than a standard electric vehicle.
Kuo doesn’t expect first units to come off of assembly lines before 2025 at the earliest.
The new iPhone takes about 18–24 months from initial specification definition to mass production based on experience. Given the longer development time, higher validation requirements, more complicated supply chain management and very different sales/after-sales service channels for the automobiles, we believe that Apple, which lacks car building experience, is already on a tight schedule if it wants to launch the Apple Car in 2025.
Bloomberg recently said that Project Titan is at least five years away from hitting the road.
Hyundai’s E-GMP platform
The vehicle should use Hyundai’s dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, dubbed E-GMP, with Hyundai Mobis producing parts and subsidiary Kia handling US production.
Reuters recently said Apple and Hyundai had held talks about the project. A subsequent report claimed that Hyundai leadership was torn about any possible Apple deal, with the South Korean company unwilling to become a contract manufacturer for the California giant.
That report quoted an unnamed Hyundai executive as saying:
It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results. Apple is the boss. They do their marketing, they do their products, they do their brand. Hyundai is also the boss. That does not really work.
According to Hyundai’s December press release, E-GMP provides a pair of electronic motors, battery cells, integrated drive axle, five-link rear suspension and other key components.
Possible Apple Car stats
Should Apple use E-GMP for Project Titan as Kuo is claiming, then the following should be expected from the first Apple-branded electric vehicle:
- 310 miles (500km) maximum range on a single charge
- Fast-charging gets the battery up to 80% capacity within 18 minutes
- Acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds
- Top speed of 160 mph, or about 260km
Those numbers are for a “high performance” configuration so keep that in mind.