Hyundai is rumored to be on the verge of signing a deal with Apple to build an electric car. But Hyundai wasn’t the first automaker Apple approached about a deal, a new report claims.
As per The Verge, Apple held meetings with the California-based EV startup Canoo in early 2020. The two companies discussed options such as an Apple investment or even an outright acquisition, sources familiar with the conversations suggest.
Apple was supposedly interested in Canoo’s “skateboard” platform. Skateboard is a base for building modular electric cars, upon which manufacturers can then build their own shell. Interestingly, one of the companies to have used Canoo’s skateboard platform is Hyundai. You can see a video of how the technology works below.
The skateboard platforms also includes steer-by-wire technology. This is a system that eliminates the need for a physical connection between steering wheel and the car wheels by utilizing electrically controlled motors to change the direction of the wheels. It can further increase design flexibility of vehicles.
According to The Verge, Canoo was interested in an investment from Apple. However, talks fell apart. At the time of the Apple negotiations, Canoo was coming out of 2019, a year in which it lost $182.3 million and had just $29 million in the bank.
Apple has supposedly been working on an Apple Car project dating back at least as far as 2014. Along the way, it has acquired multiple engineers with experience in EVs and autonomous driving. In 2019, Apple acquired the self-driving car startup Drive.ai, which it subsequently shut down, most likely redirecting the talent and technology to work on its own automotive project.
The latest reports suggest that a possible Apple Car could enter manufacturing as soon as 2024. Apple, for obvious reasons, has not confirmed this.