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Apple to Debut Electric Car by 2020 (Report)

In a few short years, your next car could be emblazoned with a shiny Apple logo. A new report claims that the Cupertino tech giant is starting work on an electric car, with plans to go into production by 2020.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has been aggressively hiring talent in order to come out with its own automobile on what would be an ambitious timeline. The project, supposedly codenamed "Titan," was once rumored to have "several hundred" people at Apple working on it, though that number has since been knocked down to an estimated 200.

Rumors sparked a few weeks ago when a mysterious car was spotted driving around the streets near San Francisco with camera equipment rigged atop of it. Once it was known that the car was registered to Apple, it was speculated that the company might be working on a competitor to Google's self-driving car, or creating an alternative to Google Street View.

MORE: Apple CarPlay FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

New hires at Apple also signal car activity: the company recently enlisted Johann Jungwirth, former head of research and development at Mercedes. At the same time, this push towards auto tech has also put Apple in hot water: battery maker A123 Systems filed a lawsuit against the company recently, claiming Apple has been poaching employees away from the firm that specializes in making lithium-ion energy storage components used in electric cars.

Even if Apple is composing an automobile super-team in Cupertino, five years is a fast turnaround time -- most manufacturers spend up to seven years developing a new car. According to Bloomberg, GM and Tesla are working on electric cars to be released in 2017 that can get up to 200 miles on a single charge and will cost under $40,000.

If Apple is indeed making its own car, the company could be looking to impact automobiles the same way that the iPhone revolutionized smartphones. Apple is hoping to make the same kind of splash in the wearables market with the Apple Watch, slated for release this April.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.

Valentina Palladino

Valentina is Commerce Editor at Engadget and has covered consumer electronics for a number of publications including Tom's Guide, Wired, Laptop Mag and Ars Technica, with a particular focus on wearables, PCs and other mobile tech. 

  • rezaraquib
    Good lord, next Apple will dictate where you can drive you car.
  • fyend
    It will require a special Apple charging station that costs more than the competition charges for theirs. Also there will be a new model release once a year that gets .001% more miles per charge but is manufactured with increasingly cheaper and cheaper parts and labor every update yet always costs the same or more than the previous model. It will be the greatest car ever built because Apple invented electricity and also electric cars and will pay the patent office to prove it.
  • dstarr3
    So, in 2020, we'll have an Apple car that bursts into flames when you plug it in and folds in half when you sit in it. Awesome. Just what we need.
  • sammykhalifa
    Will the spark plugs be welded into the engine?
  • SoiledBottom
    Your driving it wrong
  • makkem
    It will cost the same as a Rolls Royce but perform like a Ford Focus.
  • big_tiger
    The navigation will only give you routes to U2 concerts.
  • capt_taco
    GM and Tesla are working on electric cars that get 200 miles per charge and cost under $40,000 ... Apple is working on an electric car that is exactly the same and costs $350,000.

    Also, this is going to be hilarious once they discover that nobody outside of California wants to buy electric cars, and even in California it's a dumb move to own one since the state mandates that electricity cost 45 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • SkyBill40
    What will they call it? The iKnewyouwereasucker?
  • xray686166233
    Ten Reasons not To Buy an Apple car :
    1. The first model will crash, a lot

    2. The antenna won’t pick up radio (but it’s all your fault)

    3. Bono will be on the stereo, whether you like him or not

    4. It’ll cost twice as much as a Google car that’s also a bit bigger

    5. There will be a social network to let you share your favourite drives

    6. The built-in GPS will be Apple Maps

    7. After three years software updates will make it slow to a crawl

    8. It’ll bend badly if you drive it wearing skinny hipster jeans

    9. You’ll be able to buy a solid gold version

    10. And of course … the battery will run out by 4pm every day

    - The Guardian -

    One more reason :

    If Apple sells a branded vehicle

    It will likely be made by other companies in foreign factories by workers getting paid substandard wages working in unsafe conditions , working egregious hours and living under substandard conditions and of course with foreign sourced parts .

    Profits will likely be held offshore as usual with overseas shell companies to avoid paying US taxes all the above in accordance with Apple's usual long standing best practices of course ?/.