Many people seem to forget that the electric car market has been in existence for well over 100 years, despite the fact it has yet to hit the mass market. The current push for electric vehicles is the greatest we have seen in the history of this industry and with government financial assistance, it seems inevitable the mass market seemingly awaits. The potential to make significant returns has obviously attracted the attention of traditional automobile manufacturers around the world but there are also a number of well-known technology companies looking towards this particular area.
Apple electric vehicles
It will come as no surprise to learn that Apple seems to have been looking at electric cars and other modes of transport for sometime. This is a company which revolutionised the mobile phone industry with the legendary iPhone, as well as an array of other communication devices. The company has a balance sheet cash reserve in the billions of dollars and while the mobile communication side is still leading the way, many believe it inevitable that the company will eventually look towards the likes of electric vehicles.
Historically, the company’s former chief executive Steve Jobs had a very close personal and working relationship with Tesla’s innovative leader Elon Musk. Before the sad death of Steve Jobs, many had predicted an eventual merger between Apple and Tesla to create a technology superpower. While this particular move has been scuppered somewhat, it was revealed just a few weeks ago that the company is now in talks with BMW about an Apple branded vehicle. It seems that these talks are perhaps more advanced than initially assumed, with some believing the company already has a prototype electric vehicle available for testing.
When you bear in mind the fact electric cars today are as much technology-based as manufacturing-based. it seems inevitable a company such as Apple will look to get more involved. This is a company which is extremely forward thinking, willing to invest large amounts of cash in new technology and not afraid to push the boundaries, even if this means various successes and failures along the way. We await the much anticipated Apple electric car which many believe will, yet again, shakeup the electric car market around the world.
Google’s self driving vehicles
While Google is obviously best known for its search engine business, this is a company which has many fingers in many pies. There is much going on with the company that is not public knowledge and while not all of these peripheral investment opportunities come to fruition we will certainly see a major push in the area of electric cars. The company has already released its own Google self driving vehicle which hit the headlines just a few weeks ago when there was a so-called “near miss”. The fact that the central technology avoided any collision between the two vehicles in question seemed to have been overlooked by many in the press who were obviously looking for a critical angle.
The company itself has been fairly vocal with regards to its hopes for the electric car division in the future and it is also worth noting at this point that Google is very heavily invested in artificial intelligence. Bringing the two together could revolutionise the self driving vehicles which the company has targeted and while it may take some time to gather the confidence of the general public, this is something which Google is focused upon.
In a similar situation to Apple, Google has a very strong balance sheet with excessive amounts of money available for new investments. The search engine giant is not one to sit on its hands and look back while patting itself on the back because as we have seen in recent times, friendly and aggressive takeovers of technology related companies seem to have become the norm. In the same way in which many expected Apple to merge with Tesla there may be a point where for Google and Tesla to at least discuss a potential long-term working relationship?
Google is here to stay in the electric car market and while not everybody’s cup of tea there is no doubt the company “gets things done”.
Sony electric cars
While Sony is perhaps best known for its entertainment systems, telephone, and computing operations it will come as no surprise to learn that the company has already spoken of its intention to become more heavily involved in the electric car market. Many people seem to forget the fact that Sony is a technology company, investing heavily across a broad range of businesses, and not wholly focused upon entertainment systems, the telephone sector, and computing operations. Indeed, in many ways the company will need to widen its horizons to take in new technology, such as the electric vehicle market, to maintain its standing in the technology sector going forward.
Perhaps the only real question regarding Sony’s involvement in the electric car market in years to come is whether it will be as a one part entity or perhaps a joint venture with one of the existing electric car companies. Even though the likes of Tesla seem to have created their own very strong brand of technology, it is easy to forget that companies such as Sony have experience which you cannot buy. As electric cars become leaner and more efficient, as well as significantly lighter than their petrol counterparts, there will be more space to improve the technology available in transit. Is this an area in which Sony will prosper?
Sony is only one of many older technology companies which have expressed an interest in the electric car market going forward. As we touched on above, any technology company worth its salt needs to be forward thinking and become involved in new, and potentially lucrative technologies at as early a stage as possible to create a brand and reputation. We await developments with anticipation.
Dyson electric cars
While the Dyson company is best known for its innovative and very creative vacuum cleaners, many people are perhaps not aware that the company also invests heavily in alternative technology. There is no doubt that the vacuum cleaning operations have given the company the financial clout to look elsewhere, however the bottom line is that the company is actually a technology operation as opposed to a household appliance company. Do not automatically assume that Dyson is only focused upon the household market because we have already seen an array of investments in unconnected technology operations. So, is the Dyson electric car next on the agenda?
Again, many people will not be aware that Dyson has already invested heavily in a battery company which is capable of delivering batteries to power electric cars. Indeed, if the rumours are correct the company may well have its hands on a technology which will double the current journey capacity of the average electric car. While this would put the company in direct competition with the likes of Tesla, we need to appreciate that the market for electric cars will be huge and there will be space for more than one technologically advanced and forward thinking company.
It was interesting to see that Dyson commented directly upon the potential for a Dyson electric car, advising experts “not to rule this out”. In hindsight it looks as though the company has been busy behind the scenes setting the foundations for an assault on the electric vehicle market. When you bear in mind the very different approach the company took to the traditional household vacuum cleaner, what can we expect when it turns its interest to the electric car market?
Apple, Google, Sony, and Dyson are just four non-electric car companies which have expressed a desire to become more involved in the industry going forward. Perhaps we need to look at the future electric vehicle market, not part of the automobile industry, but more of a technology sector where innovative ideas and services will prosper. Competition is certainly heating up in the area of electric cars and we await with anticipation the delivery of new vehicles from the likes of Apple, Google, Sony and Dyson.