Apple Car dies after deciding it can't compete with Tesla | RenewEconomy

Apple Car dies after deciding it can’t compete with Tesla

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Elon Musk’s EV project was so successful that Tim Cook decided his company should build its own EV to compete with Tesla. How hard could it be?

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“Building an automobile is hard,” says Elon Musk. He should know. He has ridden the tiger and knows better than anyone how close Tesla Motors has come to financial ruin on more than one occasion. When Tesla first started selling electric cars in 2012, many industry observers predicted it would quickly come to grief.

But it didn’t. In fact, it prospered in the face of impossible odds. It was so successful that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, decided his company should get in the swim and build its own electric car to compete with Tesla. How hard could it be?


Actually, pretty damned hard. Word has leaked from within Apple that it has decided not to build a car after all. According to Bloomberg News, hundreds of Project Titan employees have been reassigned, let go, or quit.

Just a few months ago, Apple brought senior engineer Bob Mansfield out of semi-retirement to be the head ramrod on the Titan program. Mansfield was a close confidant of Apple founder Steve Jobs and has spearheaded several of the company’s more successful product development programs. Mansfield apparently didn’t like what he found when he took over Project Titan.

A month after taking over the reins, Mansfield made an announcement to the team alerting to a shift in strategy. He said that after examining the program, he had determined Apple should not attempt to be a competitor to Tesla but rather a maker of self-driving systems it can sell to other manufacturers.

According to insiders, Apple senior managers have told the Project Titan team it has until late 2017 to get its act together and decide on a final direction for the program.

Apple’s new direction faces headwinds of its own. Conventional carmakers are skeptical about turning over an important component of their automobiles to eggheads from Silicon Valley. Many worry they will soon be seen merely as assemblers of other people’s components rather than true manufacturers. They are wary of letting technology companies own the lucrative software components of their cars.

There was a time earlier this year when Elon Musk said somewhat wistfully that, one day, Tesla Motors would be worth as much as Apple, which currently has a market value of $700 billion. Based on the total fiasco that Project Titan has become, Apple should be worried that it doesn’t fall from its perch atop the business world while Tesla zooms by it in the fast lane.

At a time when Silicon Valley seems to think anyone over 30 is brain dead, it is interesting to see an old war horse like Mansfield being brought in to clean up the mess made by all those self-absorbed techies.

Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.

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  1. MaxG 4 years ago

    Good decision! Would not have bought their car anyway… too many updates, and quick obsolescence. iPhone 4 anyone?!

    • Ace Diamond 4 years ago

      That’s it? That’s all that a lib like you can come up with? Apple throws away several billion dollars on their battery-electric car project and you just say “Good decision….too many updates….quick obsolescence”?

      Let me tell you…Mr. Cook had to have a hell of a reason to stop that project….and Apple could have easily succeeded in making electric cars.

      Now go back to your sheep.

  2. wideEyedPupil 4 years ago

    all the techies were “self-absorbed” were they? insider knowledge or speculation puff piece?

  3. Mark Roest 4 years ago

    What about the long tail? There are hundreds or thousands of manufacturers of bikes, trikes, cars, trucks, tractors, ships, trains, planes who cannot compete with the buying power and scale of the majors. What if they suddenly could get an Apple control system and revolutionary batteries, designed to work well with each other?

    Since they move much faster, they could actually step out in front of the majors. “The least among you shall be the foremost …” Imagine if they coordinated their designs so that they complemented each other, and covered far more use cases than the majors do, with greater specificity, detail, and customer choice.

    It could be like 1902 all over again, but with far better engineering.

    • Ace Diamond 4 years ago

      Keep trying….but I don’t think Apple is in your future. How many times did you send them a resume already???

  4. Ace Diamond 4 years ago

    Actually, Mr. Cook realized that I was not kidding about the conspiracy to cover up the very negative health efects from long term exposure of children to powerful electric motors….more powerful than 400 swimming pool pumps. MUSK makes children sit on such motors….he stuffs these motors and ultra-nasty power inverters under the rear seats where children sit. Musk does not believe that this constitutes Child Experimentation because we are all just a part of a virtual reality simulation, so the Children getting cancer from Musk’s powerful electric motors is all fake virtual reality stuff…..a fancy computer program.

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