Shares in Hyundai Motor Group soared 20% overnight as it emerged the manufacturer is in talks with Apple about building an electric car.
In a statement sent to the Financial Times, Hyundai said: “Apple and Hyundai are in discussions, but as it is at an early stage, nothing has been decided.” The car maker’s valuation rose by £6.5bn following the announcement.
News of discussions between the two industry giants comes just two weeks after Apple expressed a renewed ambition to produce its own series-production EV, a concept which has been under development as Project Titan since at least 2014.
Following the revelation, Hyundai clarified that Apple was in discussions with “a variety of global car makers”, according to the Financial Times. Apple has yet to publicly comment.
Collaboration between the two companies could see Apple’s EV borrow technology from Hyundai’s new E-GMP architecture, which brings 800V charging capacity and offer more than 310 miles of range per charge.
Any future Apple car will likely use the company’s own ‘monocell’ battery technology, however, which uses larger cells in denser battery packs that are said to deliver more range than conventional items. The Silicon Valley-based company is also said to be evaluating the use of lithium iron phosphate, rather than lithium-ion, as it is less prone to overheating.
Production of the Apple car is set to be outsourced to a manufacturing partner. Hyundai’s appointment in that role would follow a flurry of investment and partnership deals from the Korean firm: this time last year, Hyundai and Kia injected £85 million into British EV start up Arrival, while an ongoing technological partnership with Croatian firm Rimac has informed development of Hyundai and Kias’ new high-performance EVs due.
It has yet to be confirmed when the Apple car will enter the market. The firm has previously targeted a launch date of 2024, but the Financial Times cites a Korean publication – reportedly part-owned by Hyundai – as saying Apple plans to launch its EV in 2027.