It’s becoming increasingly plausible that an Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) electric automobile (perhaps dubbed an “iCar”) will go into production in 2024 or shortly afterward. It would have been an iPhone moment (a watershed event) for the electric car business, particularly in the United States. Increased EV sales would increase demand for batteries and EV metals.
Significant Potential for Apple Car
With more than 1 billion active iPhones and 1.65 billion Apple products in use worldwide, Apple has an extremely devoted fan following. In addition to 194 million iPhones, 71 million iPads, 20 million Macs and MacBooks, 110 million AirPods, and 43 million Apple Watches, Apple sold 194 million iPhones in 2020. Over 40 million people subscribe to Apple TV+, compared to 72 million for Apple Music.
Apple would sell 16.5 million electric vehicles annually (for many years), or around 20% of the approximately 80 million automobiles sold worldwide each year, if only 1% of their “products” base, or 1.65 billion Apple devices worldwide, were used to purchase an Apple electric vehicle. In a different light, Apple would sell 19.4 million automobiles annually if it just sold 10% as many cars as it does iPhones. Producing that many new electric vehicles each year would be a big difficulty and would need to be built up over the coming decade, much like Tesla is doing today, so obviously, these are just some “aspirational benchmarks” to gauge the possible demand for an Apple automobile
Apple Electric Car Project
The Apple electric car project, often known as “Titan,” is an electric vehicle initiative being worked on by Apple Inc. 5,000 personnel were said to be working on the project as of 2018, however, Apple has yet to publicly address any of its self-driving research. A self-driving staff shuttle van based on the T6 Transporter commercial vehicle chassis was purportedly produced by Apple and Volkswagen in May 2018. According to a BBC story from August 2018, Apple has 66 autonomous vehicles that were registered for the road and 111 drivers who were authorized to drive them. In lieu of genuine Apple-branded automobiles, it is said that Apple is still working on self-driving-related hardware, software, and services as prospective products in 2020. According to a December 2020 story from Reuters, Apple was considering a 2024 debut date, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it wouldn’t happen until 2025 and might not happen until 2028 or later.
The goal of Apple’s vehicle project was to create an autonomous vehicle.
- A self-driving Apple automobile aimed at customers is being developed by hundreds of company employees.
- The actual automobile project is still in progress.
- Expected iOS integration at depth.
- The DMV has issued a permit for autonomous testing.
- software being tried for self-driving.
According to reports, Apple is also developing a self-driving shuttle service known as “PAIL,” which stands for “Palo Alto to Infinite Loop.” Employees will be transported between Apple’s offices in Silicon Valley via the shuttle program. In a collaboration with Volkswagen, Apple will put its self-driving software in T6 Transporter vehicles that will be used as staff shuttles.
If Apple introduced an electric automobile, who would benefit and lose?
- Apple (assuming they can make a success of the iCar and boost profits).
- electric vehicle producers. Probably Magna or Foxconn. Magna would be my prediction given their expertise in producing automobiles, particularly electric vehicles. Magna will also help Apple if it is selected – Recently, LG Electronics established a joint venture to provide essential elements of the electric vehicle drivetrain, such as electric motors, inverters, onboard chargers, and, for certain automakers, associated e-drive systems. Alternatively, Hyundai/Kia (OTC: KIMTF) is a viable option. Canoo, a provider of electric platforms, is a solid long shot.
- providers of electric vehicles, particularly batteries. Most likely, BYD Co. or CATL is the battery provider. Since BYD wants the batteries for their own EVs, I’d hazard a bet that CATL.
- If Apple chooses to use a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry, the lithium miners would likely be the greatest winners. Additionally, miners of graphite and rare earth minerals may prosper. the copper miners to a lesser extent.
- Due to increased competition, other automakers like Tesla risk losing market share. There is a case to be made that EV businesses will be OK because Apple will hasten the adoption of EVs, particularly in the US.
- Apple might opt to do nothing or merely offer in-car services or autonomous driving software.
- Apple may choose to go it alone and design and produce everything, including batteries, in-house. This would be a long journey and is implausible.
- Apple may not build a vehicle, but rather an autonomous Apple shuttle.
- Business dangers (EV production risks, funding, management, currency, sovereign risk).
- Stock market dangers (sentiment, dilution). Apple is extremely wealthy and hence can fund an iCar project or an acquisition. Many investors are concerned that Apple’s entry into the vehicle business may reduce its net profit margins. This might be mitigated to some extent by providing Apple vehicle services, autonomous driving packages, and, one day, a robotaxi network.
Apple would sell 16.5 million electric vehicles a year, or nearly 20% of the 80 million automobiles sold worldwide if only 1% of their “products” base (1.65 billion Apple devices worldwide) were used to purchase an electric vehicle. In a different light, Apple would sell 19.4 million automobiles annually if it just sold 10% as many cars as it does iPhones. There is undoubtedly a huge possibility for Apple here. Over the following ten years, scaling up production to these levels would be extremely difficult.
It is more plausible that Apple will soon reveal some kind of electric car given that the company is apparently now in talks with two of the top LFP battery manufacturers, BYD and CATL. By 2024, if reports are true, we could be able to buy an Apple electric vehicle. For EVs, this would be a big publicity boost and triumph.
My best prediction is that Apple will collaborate with either Foxconn or Magna International for contract production in the US, and BYD or CATL (I assume CATL) for batteries (I guess Magna). The LG Chem/Magna or BYD/Foxconn combinations might be used if the CATL/Magna combination is incorrect. Although Hyundai has rejected the concept, Hyundai/Kia is another option.
In advance of an announcement, investors have the option to acquire Apple shares or any of the possible suppliers (such as the major battery producers and EV metal miners). My opinion is that everyone participating in an Apple automobile can prosper, especially given the likelihood of Apple’s success and the enormous and devoted consumer base they have. Simply purchasing Apple shares today and sitting on them for ten years is perhaps the easiest and safest way to flourish.
Because Apple has been so secretive about its ambitions, there are risks associated with an Apple automobile because most of this information is dependent on speculative and rumors (claims from sources). Additionally, it’s feasible that Apple may make a completely unexpected move, such as acquiring Lucid Motors (CCIV), purchasing Canoo, working with a lesser-known Chinese contract manufacturer, or doing it alone without employing a contract manufacturer or battery maker. A self-driving electric shuttle might be produced instead of a Car. Read the hazards section carefully.