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Apple Car is already too late, says Tesla boss Elon Musk


Elon Musk

The Apple Car doesn’t even exist, officially. But Tesla boss Elon Musk says it’s already too late to the game.

Musk cast doubts on Apple’s prospects in the automotive sector in a new interview at the Code Conference in California. He suggested that the Apple Car is at least four years away, and is too late to make any meaningful impact on the industry, describing it as a “missed opportunity”.

Musk explained:

I think they should have embarked on this project sooner. I don’t think they’ll be in production sooner until 2020. It’s just a missed opportunity. It’s a couple years…they’ll make a good car and be successful.”

However, he added: “I think it’s great they’re doing this, and I hope it works out.”

The Tesla CEO has had a tumultuous PR history when it comes to the Apple Car. Last year, Musk described the Cupertino-based technology giant as a “Tesla Graveyard”, commenting: “If you don’t make it as Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

However, Musk did eventually backtrack on his comments, posting the following on Twitter:

Related: WWDC 2016: What to expect

Apple hasn’t publicised plans to build an Apple Car, but it’s widely speculated that the company is already deeply invested in research and development for an electric (and possibly driverless) vehicle.

You can read all about the Apple Car here.

Ford Interview: The Future of Autonomous Cars

Do you think the Apple Car is already too late? Let us know in the comments.


June 2, 2016, 8:44 pm

Yeah, not exactly an impartial opinion. Musk seems intent on spoiling any potential big reveal, for a competitor he realistically has to be concerned about. The EV market is hardly saturated - it's just starting.

Aside from the drivetrain (which is much simpler than a traditional IC one), the rest is standard car tech. Nothing's stopping Apple hiring automotive engineers just like Tesla did a few years ago. Tesla's key advantage is its huge Lithium Ion battery factory, bringing economies of scale - but if Apple is building something similar, that advantage will vanish.

And even if Apple never make an EV, Tesla could still wind up being swatted out of the way by an existing car company like Ford, once they decide the EV market is worth committing to.

People have been predicting electric cars for years, they've just been waiting for better batteries. Musk seems to have got tired of waiting and just made EVs anyway. If a big breakthrough were to happen though, everyone would dive in and suddenly the market would get very competitive for them.

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