JOBOB: Apple gives up on producing electric vehicles

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  • 03/02/2024

Technology giant Apple has ended its project to build an electric vehicle, which the company reportedly secretly worked on more than a decade ago, according to individuals with knowledge of the situation.

Apple seems to have attempted to compete with Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric car company which has increased exponentially in popularity in recent years, quietly launching “Project Titan” just over ten years ago. According to NPR, “thousands of Apple employees” were dedicated to building “an all-electric, self-driving car” that was kept out of the public eye, not off public roads. After patents were filed by Apple some details of the project became known to the public.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president at the company reportedly heading the project, broke the news to the nearly 2,000 employees assigned to work on developing the electric vehicle.

Tesla, which debuted its first car in 2008, has been profitable since 2020, generating $862 million in net profits that year, according to Four Week MBA, which analyzed the company’s financial statements over the years. In 2023, Tesla’s net profit rose to $14.99 billion, up from $12.55 billion in 2022.

The electric vehicle market grew in 2023, largely due to record-breaking gasoline prices in 2022, which had many individuals seeking out ways to cut commuting costs. However, as gas prices have temporarily dipped down to a $3.33 national average according to AAA, electric vehicle sales have slowed, and many manufacturers are shrinking fleets and plans to increase future EV production.

Near the end of 2023, Ford Motor Company’s sales increased by 7.1%, and even saw EV sales increase during its fourth quarter sales statements, but despite their best efforts to make TVs more palatable for the average Ford driver, the company still lost billions on its EV investments. Ford’s EV division, “Ford Model E” lost $2.1 billion in 2022, and in 2023 the company’s CEO Jim Farley admitted that EV sales have been “a little slower than expected.” As a result of decreased demand at the beginning of 2024, Ford announced that it would reduce production of its F-150 Lightning pickup truck, and just one month later, the company cut the price of its electric Mustang Mach-E by up to $8,000.

Car rental company Hertz has reduced the number of EVs in its global fleet by approximately 20,000 vehicles, and just last week, Mercedes-Benz announced that it would delay its plans to make EVs half of all vehicles sold by the company by 2025. Mercedes-Benz then backtracked, saying that it now expects EV and hybrid vehicle sales to comprise up to 50% of the company’s profit by 2030.

In 2021, Chief Executive Ola Källenius told Reuters, “We really want to go for it … and be dominantly, if not all electric, by the end of the decade,” he added that the company would spend “close to zero” on manufacturing internal combustion engines by 2025, which the brand has since walked back.

The decreased consumer interest in electric or hybrid vehicles follows shortly after a frigid winter freeze swept the northern U.S. states, leaving many EV owners stranded or struggling to keep their car batteries alive. TPUSA reported at the time that EVs’ driving range reduces drastically in below-freezing temperatures, and even more so when the vehicle’s heater is in use.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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