Apple Car Launch Date

At this point in time we are a bit in the dark about the Apple Car launch date plan.

We do know Apple is at least exploring the possibility of building a car and that they have facilities for automotive testing and several hundred employees working on the project.

Though there have been reports Tim Cook has committed the car to production, there was evidence of a setback last Fall when the director of Project Titan, Steve Zadesky, was said to leave the company for personal reasons and there was a subsequent hiring freeze.

Per LinkedIn Johann Jungwirth who was also believed to be working on the project left the company for Volkswagen.

Using the revolutionary Chevy Volt for comparison, GM was able to deliver the first production vehicles in late 2010 which was just under four years from the time the concept was first floated to the public.  This was a 100 year old automotive company leveraging all its resources and expertise to do so.

Another analogy was Tesla’a ability to launch the Model S.  Work on the project began in 2008 at which point Tesla had only been producing its low volume roadster Model.  The Model S was released in 2012, or four years later from a running start.

For Apple to produce a vehicle within four years from first conceiving it would be a stretch without outside help.  Five to six years is more likely

So to arrive at a launch date we’d need to know when Apple first internally green-lighted the concept. That date from what we can tell was at least as early as late 2014.

Therefore the launch date of the Apple car is likely to be fall of 2019 or possibly Spring of 2020.  This is in line with the estimates of other sources.

4 Comments on Apple Car Launch Date

  1. OP Lyle said: “…GM was able to deliver the first production vehicles in late 2010 which was just under four years from the time the concept was first floated to the public…”
    ——-

    Lyle- Are you predicting Apple intends to skip the automotive industry ritual of presenting to the public a “concept car” and/or “prototype car”? …Go straight to a full-on production reveal as they do with the other Apple products?

    • I think Apple will reveal the car when they are nearly ready to take orders like they tend to do with every other product. I imagine they will skip some of the auto industry’s typical rituals as you say. But it’s hard to say for sure as this is something so new for them – maybe a hybrid process?

      • Lyle- I agree with your prediction on that.

        It will be interesting to see what Apple decides to do supercharger network wise because build-out of an Apple supercharger network is not something that Apple can be easily hide in advance of a production reveal. A robust supercharger network is an absolute need item for any serious EV offering. To date only Tesla has gotten that part right:
        http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

  2. If Apple started this project a year ago, (which is widely believed to be the case) then I’d say 2020 looks like a realistic estimate for them. That’s 5 years from the word GO. Even if they would outsource to another automaker like BMW to make or supply the drivetrain, it would still be a 3 to 4 year process to design, develop, and test to bring the total vehicle to market. And if Apple is truly looking to make the car autonomous, there could be yet even longer development time. Maybe 6 or 7 years.

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