Hyundai Motor Company shares skyrocketed yesterday on news the automaker is in talks with Apple. The talks are reportedly surrounding the notion of Hyundai producing a battery-electric vehicle for the tech company. However, the report has already been back-tracked by Hyundai.
Citing a Korean publication, the Financial Times broke news of the talks. The report states Hyundai and Apple has been in discussions surrounding the production of an electric vehicle. The news is timely as recent reports have reignited speculation the tech company is working on its own electric car.
Hyundai went so far as to confirm the report.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussions, but as it is at an early stage, nothing has been decided,” Hyundai said in a statement to the Financial Times.
Oddly, the company then backed off their public statement. In a bit of a reversal, Hyundai later stated in a regulatory filing that they are in talks with “various companies” about joint EV development. The regulatory filing did not explicitly name Apple or any other firm.
It’s unclear what exactly Apple is seeking from the discussions. Apple could be aiming to have a manufacturing arrangement similar to the one it has on most of its hardware. Whereas the product development, engineering and software are developed by Apple, but manufacturing is outsourced. Assuming that is the desired end-state, Apple could be seeking use of Hyundai’s new E-GMP architecture which offers 800-volt charging capability.
Such an arrangement would allow Apple to avoid some of the most expensive pieces in automotive development: an architecture. It would also prevent the tech company from having to standup its own vehicle manufacturing ecosystem, which seems daunting, even for a company with Apple resources.
Apple will likely want to leverage its own monocell battery technology as a means of product differentiation. The monocell battery uses larger cells in denser packs to supposedly provide more range.
It has yet to be confirmed when the Apple electric car could hit the market. Some reports are suggesting as early as 2024, but a Korean publication asserts the timing will be closer to 2027.