South Korean automobile giant Hyundai Motor Co. has said that they are in the initial phase of talks with Apple Inc. to jointly develop an electric vehicle. Reports that the Cupertino-based tech giant is secretly developing a battery-operated car codenamed 'Project Titan'. According to The Korean Economic Daily, an official from Hyundai Motor on January 8 confirmed that Apple is in discussions with various automobile companies, including Hyundai, to collaborate on its electric vehicle project.
Following the Hyundai official's remark, the company released a statement through a regulatory filing, saying it has been receiving requests from various companies to jointly develop self-driving electric vehicles, adding the talks are still in the initial phase. After the statement, stocks of Hyundai and its sister companies surged on the Korean big board. It recorded an eight-year high with a jump of 25% to 2,57,000 won on Friday. Stock prices of Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Mobis Co. also rose on Friday.
Earlier, it was reported that Apple is working on an electric vehicle project and is targetting production for 2024. However, it has been rumoured that Apple might only develop highly-efficient rechargeable batteries and a self-driving system, lending them to a more experienced player in the field of carmaking. According to reports, Apple is reportedly working on a game-changing battery technology that will potentially bring down the cost of batteries while increasing the range of the vehicle.
If the reports are true, Apple's Project Titan could challenge the electric carmaker Tesla in the market. Tesla is currently leading the race in manufacturing high-end electric vehicles. After reports of Apple's electric vehicle ambition surfaced, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that he had once approached the tech giant with a deal of selling his electric car company, but Tim Cook refused to meet.