Hyundai Motor Group and Apple are reportedly in talks to build an electric car. The news caused Hyundai’s shares to soar by 20 per cent overnight. The company’s valuation rose by £6.5bn (around Rs 6,478,47 crore) following the announcement. In a statement issued to the Financial Times, Hyundai confirmed that: "Apple and Hyundai are in discussions, but as it is at an early stage, nothing has been decided."
Hyundai subsequently revised its statement in a later regulatory filing, in which it said it was in talks with "various companies" about the joint development of autonomous electric vehicles - but did not name Apple. The tech giant is yet to comment publicly on it.
This news comes a few weeks after the American tech-giant expressed a renewed ambition to produce its series-production EV, a concept which has been under development as Project Titan since 2014. If the collaboration becomes a reality, the two companies could see Apple's EV borrow technology from Hyundai's new E-GMP architecture, which brings 800V charging capacity to offer more than 500km of range on a single charge.
The battery tech will be sourced from Apple’s 'mono cell' battery technology, which uses larger cells in denser battery packs that are said to deliver a higher range than conventional items. Apple is also evaluating the use of lithium iron phosphate, rather than lithium-ion, as it is less prone to overheating.
With the battery technology coming from the Silicon Valley-based company, combined with Hyundai would enable it to outsource manufacturing, avoiding the huge cost, investment and complexity in building its hardware. Reflecting on the high cost of manufacturing, several companies such as Dyson have pulled the plug on their EV projects.
The partnership is most likely to be similar to what Apple has with Taiwanese production giant Foxconn – which is currently developing its EV platform – to contract manufacture iPhones and iPads, allowing Apple to focus its efforts on design, technology and software. We are still in dark on details about the possible launch of the car. The firm has previously targeted launch date of 2024, but reports of Financial Times citing a Korean publication suggests that Apple plans to launch its EV in 2027.