Apple snubbed the opportunity to buy Tesla as the e-car pioneer flirted with bankruptcy back in 2017, founder and CEO Elon Musk has claimed.
In a pair of tweets, Musk said that he approached Apple CEO Tim Cook over the potential to buy Tesla for one-tenth of the current value, which has soared in 2020.
The comments came with Musk reacting to recent reports claiming Apple is entering the e-car world itself, by launching an Apple Car by the middle of the next decade. Musk said it would be “strange, if true.”
He wrote: “During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.”
Tesla is now worth over £600 billion with its stock price (around $646) eight times higher than it was in January ($86.05).
If Musk’s claim is to be taken at face value, Apple could have landed the firm, and a ready-made production line for its in-car automation system, for around $60 billion. Considering the vast cash reserves Apple has on hand, this wouldn’t have been a huge reach.
Whether Apple is now regretting not jumping at the opportunity, is unknown, but the company seems to be going full steam ahead with its plans for the Apple Car, under the Project Titan banner.
A Reuters report said Apple has a breakthrough battery tech that could enable it to get a car on the road by 2024. Sources said the technology could “radically” reduce the cost of the battery and boost the overall range capability from a single charge.
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According to the report, a “monocell” battery design could enable Apple to include more matter in the product thus allowing it to cover more miles without the need to be replenished. For what its worth, Musk doubts the veracity of the report, claiming a monocell battery is “electrochemically impossible”
He added: “A monocell is electrochemically impossible, as max voltage is ~100X too low. Maybe they meant cells bonded together, like our structural battery pack?”