Apple reportedly wants to launch its new electric car built by Kia in 2024.
After years of uncertainty, Apple's first foray into the automotive industry appears to be getting back on track. To put the car into production, the technology giant wants to partner with a car manufacturer rather than set up its own production plant since the company has no experience in building cars. Allegedly, Apple wanted to join forces with Hyundai, but a report last month claimed that Kia will now take charge of the project as Hyundai wants to focus on its electric Ioniq sub-brand.
Hyundai's first new dedicated EV under the sub-brand, the Ioniq 5, will debut this month. According to Korea's DongA Ilbo, an agreement between Apple and Kia could be made in just a few weeks.
The publication claims that Apple is investing 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion) to collaborate with Kia to produce electric cars. As a result, shares in Kia Motors surged as much as 14.5 percent - the highest since 1997. If a deal is agreed, Apple will build cars at Kia's production plant in Georgia.
A deal is expected to be agreed as soon as February 17, with the aim to launch Apple cars in 2024 and build 100,000 units a year. Kia refused to comment about the potential partnership. Development of Apple's new car is still at an early stage, however, with sources telling Bloomberg it will take at least half a decade for the company to launch an autonomous electric car.
When it eventually enters production, Apple's car will be a technological tour de force with advanced autonomous systems. Thanks to its innovative "monocell" battery design, Apple's car will offer unrivaled electric driving ranges. Patent filings have also suggested Apple is developing smart windshield glass and automatic window tinting technology.
If it also looks as good as some of Kia's new design language for EVs previewed by the stunning Imagine Concept, Apple's ambitious car project could be a game-changer for the electric car industry.