Apple stops autonomous electric car project, Musk celebrates

Apple © Laurenz Heymann on Unsplash
Apple © Laurenz Heymann on Unsplash
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Apple will not build its own electric car. As Bloomberg reports, the iPhone maker is now halting its “decade-long effort,” abandoning “one of the most ambitious projects in the company’s history.” The decision was announced yesterday, Tuesday, and employees were also said to have been surprised by it. Numerous layoffs could be imminent.

The company could lay off hundreds of employees from the team after all work on the project ceases, TechCrunch has learned. The “good” news: Many employees in the auto team are set to move to the artificial intelligence department. These employees should focus on generative AI projects. But there will also be layoffs.

Musk celebrates news

An official statement from Apple is still pending. Elon Musk, however, is already celebrating the news on X: He shared a post with a greeting emoji and a cigarette.

Lots of reports, no Apple Car

Apple began working on its car project in 2014, internally referred to as “Project Titan.” At one point in time, around 5,000 employees were said to have been working on the project. However, over the past decade, Apple has repeatedly wavered between developing a purely electric Tesla competitor and a fully autonomous vehicle, with rumors abounding and at regular intervals. Just a few weeks ago we reported on rumors that the Apple car would not come onto the market until 2028 at the earliest. Hyundai was discussed as a partner for a while, and later a Hyundai subsidiary with Kia.

Difficult market environment

Since there is no official statement from Apple (yet), one can only speculate about the reasons for the end of the project. What is certain, however, is that the market for electric cars is generally going through difficult times. Sales figures have lost momentum in recent months, high prices and a lack of charging infrastructure are preventing many interested parties from switching to fully electric vehicles. Toyota, for example, has lowered its forecast for electric vehicle sales by almost 40%, Tesla has reduced the prices of its own cars and Ford has even reduced production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. Apple is now likely to forego market entry entirely.

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