Apple working on electric car, says Elon Musk

Apple has been tight-lipped about whether it is working on an electric car, but the CEO of Tesla Motors says the plan is an “open secret”

Elon Musk addresses a press conference last October. The CEO of Tesla Motors has given away a number of patents in an effort to speed the transition away from the internal combustion engine and towards electric vehicles

During an interview with the BBC, CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, said he believed Apple was in the process of developing its own electric car, but expressed little in the way of concern over the plan.

“I encourage more participation, by whoever it is, to create electric vehicles”, he said. “It’s quite hard to do, but I think that company’s like Apple will make a compelling electric car. It seems like the obvious thing to do.”

Apple has not yet confirmed rumours it is developing an electric car

When asked how sure he was about Apple’s intentions to produce an electric car of their own, Musk joked that it is pretty difficult for the company to hide its commitment to such a project, especially after hiring thousands of engineers to work on it. He referred to Apple’s plan as an “open secret”.

No matter how obvious Apple’s intentions may or may not be, the company has not yet confirmed rumours it is developing an electric car. However, The Wall Street Journal published an article back in September that suggested Apple was targeting a shipping date of 2019.

Musk has encouraged other manufacturers to enter the electric car market, giving away patents in an attempt to speed up the transition from the traditional internal combustion engine.

“I think that all transport, with the exception of rockets, will go fully electric”, he said. “I see the value of Tesla as an accelerant, as a catalyst in that transition.”

The Tesla Model 3, a lower-cost vehicle that has been developed for sale on the mass-market, is expected to start production at the end of 2017.

“In order to have a substantial effect on transportation we have to make the cars affordable, so I think the Model 3 is extremely important as part of that strategy”, said Musk. “We need to make a car that most people can afford in order to have a really substantial impact.”