Apple plans to start producing its own electric vehicle in 2024, according to a report this afternoon by Reuters that says the company’s on-again, off-again Project Titan has a renewed momentum.
According to the report, by Reuters‘s Stephen Nellis, Norihiko Shirouzu, and Paul Lienert, multiple unnamed sources have told the news outlet that Project Titan is aiming to make a passenger vehicle for the mass market.
The article relates that sources say things at Project Titan have “progressed” since Apple brought in a veteran of both Tesla and Apple, Doug Field, to take over operations in 2018. The car effort has seen something of a revolving door of executives over the years.
The New York Times in 2016 said the effort had been rebooted at Apple, and that dozens of layoffs happened.
A key element, the article claims, is a “a new battery design that could ‘radically’ reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range,” according to a source who has seen the design of the battery.
The battery is said to rely on a “unique ‘monocell’ design” that packs more material in each battery. The article claims Apple is considering a battery technology called lithium iron phosphate that’s safer than lithium-ion batteries.
While Project Titan faded from view in recent years, Apple appeared to continue work on autonomous driving technology of various sorts, with a fleet of Lexus sedans cruising Silicon Valley on auto-pilot.
Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2017 made remarks about working on autonomous driving in an interview with Bloomberg. That interview suggested to some the work on actually making a car was dead.
The New York Times the same year reported that Apple had channeled its self-driving ambitions down a more prosaic route, a self-driving shuttle bus for its corporate campus.
The company last year acquired Drive.ai, a Valley startup that had produced kits to retro-fit existing passenger vehicles for autonomous driving.