The Apple car could be here in less than five years. And that should worry Tesla and other automakers.
According to a Wall Street Journal report Monday, the tech giant is slated to ship its first electric vehicle as soon as 2019.
The company’s first vehicle, however, will not be a self-driving vehicle, according to the report. Instead it will be an electric vehicle that could compete more with the likes of Tesla or BMW.
Of course that doesn’t mean the company won’t eventually roll out an autonomous vehicle. The company is still developing the technology and could soon be testing it on public streets.
Last week, the California Department of Motor Vehicles told Tech Insider that it had met with Apple to discuss regulations for autonomous testing in the state.
There are currently 10 companies — including Tesla, BMW, Google, and Mercedes Benz — that all are permitted to test the technology on public streets in the state.
Launching an electric vehicle by 2019 will be no easy feat for Apple. As the Journal points out most car makers have their own factories where they build their vehicles, but Apple products are built by manufacturing partners.
It’s unknown whether or not the company has found a carmaker to partner with to build its first car, but according to the report the company is heavily investing in talent to help develop the concept car.
According to the Journal report, Apple has approved plans to triple the size of its 600-person team working on its car project dubbed “Titan.”
If the company does enter the electric car space it’s also going to have some serious competition.
Tesla, one of the leaders in the space, is planning to roll out its more affordable all-electric vehicle the Model 3 as soon as 2017. The vehicle will price at about $US35,000 and likely have a range of 200 miles.
Audi, BMW, and other luxury car makers are also working on new electric cars that are expected to hit the market in a big way during the next few years.
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