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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.

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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.