Local Korean newspaper Korea IT News has reported that Hyundai Motors and Apple are going to sign a deal on autonomous electric vehicles by March 2021, with production set to start around 2024 in the United States.
The original report from IT News had detailed that the vehicles would be produced at Kia Motors’ factory in Georgia. Both companies could also invest jointly in a new factory in the United States with an aim to produce 100,000 vehicles by 2024. The annual production capacity of the plant would be around 400,000 units. Seemingly, Apple and Hyundai also plan on releasing a “beta version” of the Apple Car next year. It is unclear what the report means by this. The report was later updated to remove all this information.
Last month, reports first emerged that the Apple Car will feature ‘next level’ battery technology and the vehicle will go into production in 2024. The report was refuted by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg, with both saying the vehicle was at least half a decade away at the earliest. Hyundai, however, soon confirmed in a statement that it was in the early stages of talking with Apple possibly about partnering on a self-driving electric vehicle.
The Hyundai statement itself had made it clear that Apple was talking to other automakers as well. Plus, with the talks being still in the early stages, it is unclear how the Korean report claims that the agreement between Apple and Hyundai would be signed in March.
At this point, only one thing is clear about the Apple Car — it is in the early stages of development. There’s a lot that could happen over the next couple of years that would determine the final production schedule of the vehicle. It is also looking likely that Apple will partner with Hyundai or any other major vehicle maker on a self-driving electric vehicle.[Via Reuters]