Although Apple has not disclosed if it is working on an electric car, the conjecture that it is has been widely reported based on evidence with varying degrees of credibility, and recently Elon Musk said he is expecting an Apple car.
It is “an open secret” said the head of Tesla Motors to the BBC in an interview published this week. It’s not the first time he’s spoken on the subject, and whether Musk knows more than he let on about Apple’s specific plans was not disclosed, but in BBC’s interview he said it was “obvious” based on who Apple has hired.
“It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” he said.
Musk said also he is not threatened by what competition may come.
“We encourage more participation by whoever it is to create electric vehicles, Musk said. “It’s quite hard to do. But I think companies like Apple will probably make a compelling electric car. It seems like the obvious thing to do.”
That Musk said he “does not feel threatened,” as BBC phrased it, was newsworthy enough to feature in the publication’s lead photo cap to inform those of a traditional business-competition worldview.
Tesla fans will recognize this sort of talk as a common refrain that’s emanated from Silicon Valley and Tesla itself before, and which says it welcomes all comers, even massive competitors who traditionally minded people say may crush or absorb it.
No, it’s not a zero sum game for Musk and Tesla, he effectively says, even as this view flies in the face of those who eat, sleep, and breath different air in another paradigm where bigger dogs dominate smaller ones.
For his part, Musk said, “It will expand the industry,” and also that Tesla is amenable to “helping other companies to make electric cars as well” as the market grows.
And despite naysaying articles insinuating to the contrary, the U.S. and global plug-in car market growing, and eyes are on massive tech giant Apple for further indications of its plans.
Other recent evidence of Apple’s intent include its having registered automotive domain names including apple.car and apple.auto.
It would all make sense, Musk said, who gives the market 10 years before autonomous capabilities are nearly universal and cars that are not self-driving are a “strange anachronism”