It seems common knowledge throughout the investment arena that Apple is looking to introduce branded electric vehicles in the short to medium term. There have been suggestions for some time now that the company would eventually swallow Tesla, with Elon Musk particularly close to the former management - although this does not appear to be materialising just yet. So, what could Apple bring to the electric vehicle party?
It seems as though the BMW i3 will be the model on which a future Apple/BMW electric vehicle will be based. Indeed plans would appear to be a little further down the line than first thought with news that Apple executives met with their BMW counterparts at the BMW i3 production plan. This would be an interesting first move by Apple especially when you bear in mind the relative success of BMW’s growing range of electric vehicles.
In a bold attempt to play down talks between the two companies, a BMW spokesman suggested that the company holds regular talks with telecommunications and IT companies. However, this attempt to cool down expectations in the short to medium term has fanned the flames and given the idea even more credence.
Quote from ElectricForum.com: "The BMW i3 makes a great city car - it's relaxing to drive and there's nothing else like it on the road"
It is ironic that talks between BMW and Apple are beginning at a time when Apple is under immense pressure with analysts concerned that the phenomenal success of the iPhone and its complimentary product range may be starting to fade. Whether this is correct or not remains to be seen but what we do know is that Apple has a massive war chest in the billions of dollars and is always on the lookout for new ventures and new ideas.
Are other technology companies talking?
Historically, the vehicle market and the information technology industry very rarely jumped into bed together. In the early days, there was relatively little in the way of overlap although this has changed dramatically in recent years. As electric vehicles become more popular, as cars in general become more technology orientated, it seems obvious that these two industries will be working much closer together in years to come.
It is also difficult to believe that other leading information technology companies are not talking to the array of electric car companies around the world. We will likely see a number of partnerships in the short, medium, and longer term with companies now starting to jockey for position. It is also worth noting that Tesla has recently made great strides in the Chinese electric vehicle market with a very close relationship building between the company and the Chinese government.
Are things changing?
There is no doubt that the electric vehicle industry is here to stay Consumers are finally warming to the idea of electric cars and concerns about range capacity are reducing very quickly. The introduction of companies such as Apple will make a major difference in the longer term and likely see many competitors follow suit. It will be interesting to see if BMW and Apple put together a formal relationship or whether they decide to work on stand-alone projects. Whatever happens, there is no doubt that the electric vehicle industry is changing!