Apple may be in the process of significantly ramping up its ultra-secretive electric car project.
The Cupertino tech company leased a 96,000-square foot former Pepsi bottling plant in Sunnyvale, California, Silicon Valley Business Journal reports — sparking speculation that the company might be expanding “Project Titan,” its automobile research division.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Silicon Valley Business Journal only flagged up the lease on Tuesday, but it was apparently signed back in November. Apple is headquartered in California, and has numerous facilities in the state. But Sunnyvale is notable in that the town has previously been identified as the site of key facilities relating to Project Titan.
In lieu of any real details on the lease, Apple blog 9to5Mac is among those speculating that the new site may “likely” be used for working on electric cars.
Whatever the truth of the matter, don’t expect Apple to clear it up any time soon. The company is famously secretive about unannounced products, and despite a slew of high-profile auto industry hires, leaks, and rumours about Project Titan, Apple has stayed mum.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla — an electric car company that would rival Apple’s own if it makes it to market — says it’s an “open secret” that Apple is working on a car.
According to The Wall Street Journal’s sources, Apple is aiming for a 2019 ship date, and is growing the team to 1,800.
But in a February 2016 interview with Fortune, Tim Cook, refused to confirm the rumours. “We explore technologies, and we explore products,” he said. “And we’re always thinking about ways that Apple can make great products that people love, that help them in some way. And we don’t go into very many categories, as you know. We edit very much. We talk about a lot of things and do fewer. We debate many things and do a lot fewer.”