After a period of ‘no news’ over Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) long-awaited self-driving car, rumor mills have begun to churn yet again.
What Happened: Apple has begun preliminary talks with Tesla, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) battery supplier, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited, and Warren Buffett-owned Chinese automaker BYD Company Limited (OTC: BYDDY) to source battery for its EV, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Since the discussions are preliminary, it is unclear if a deal will be clinched, the report added.
Cupertino has also reportedly mandated that the manufacturing facilities be located in the U.S. However, the Chinese companies are reluctant to build their plants in the U.S. due to the frosty relations between the U.S. and China, the report added.
Apple is reportedly targeting the relatively inexpensive lithium iron phosphate over nickel and cobalt as material for making batteries. It isn’t clear at this point whether the tech giant will supply its own technology or design, the report added.
Why It’s Important: The Apple Car project has been in incubation for a while, and since late last year, rumors of Cupertino stepping on the gas pedal have been floating around.
Several potential partners were reported, but Apple has remained tightlipped about its foray into the crowded EV field.
Over time, rumors also suggested Apple has toned down its ambition to build a full-fledged car and is now looking at developing an underlying self-driving car system.
Recently, Apple’s self-driving unit has witnessed some high-profile departures.
With the political milieu in the U.S. now favoring a faster transition to environment-friendly vehicles, Apple may be looking at fast-tracking the project.
The Biden administration proposes to earmark $174 billion for kickstarting domestic EV manufacturing, allowing tax credits and grants for EV and battery manufacturers.
Price Action: In premarket trading Tuesday, Apple shares gained 0.31% to $126.29.