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Apple abandons electric car project

Posted February. 29, 2024 07:46,   

Updated February. 29, 2024 07:46


The Apple electric car project, which has incurred significant costs over the past decade under the ambitious vision of creating an “autonomous vehicle of dreams,” has ultimately come to a halt. With the rapid rise of artificial intelligence (AI) as a transformative force in recent technological advancements, Apple, previously focused on electric vehicles as its next-generation growth engine, has decided to change course.

On Wednesday, reports from The New York Times and other media outlets cited insider comments, revealing that Apple had informed approximately 2,000 employees in its Special Project Group (SPG), which was involved in the car project, about its cancellation. Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams and Technology Vice President Kevin Lync reportedly communicated the decision to employees during an internal meeting. The rationale behind scrapping the project was said to be a shift in focus towards generative AI efforts. It has been indicated that about one-third of the employees involved in the project will be reassigned to AI-related departments.

The decision by Apple to abandon the car project is purportedly linked to the subdued global demand for electric vehicles. According to SNE Research, the growth of the global EV market this year is projected to be a modest 19% year-over-year (YoY), signaling a relatively sluggish expansion. In line with this subdued demand, major American automakers such as GM and Ford, as well as German carmaker Mercedes-Benz, are delaying their transition to electric vehicles.

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com