For a long while now there has been a lot talk about Apple’s involvement in the electric vehicle market as to its development of the self-driving systems for electric vehicles(EV) but now it appears that Apple will be developing a complete electric autonomous vehicle.
Apple’s hiring of Michael Schwekutsch, former VP of Tesla’s Engineering who was behind Tesla’s latest electric powertrains is clear indication of Apple’s goal of building a complete EV. Schwekutschis among some of the most experienced engineers who has brought electric powertrain systems to the industry as a whole.
Schwekutschspent 20 years prior to 2015, when he joined Tesla, working for some third-party powertrain engineering companies like BorgWarner and GKN Driveline and managed programs for the electric and hybrid powertrains of the BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder, Fiat 500eV, Volvo XC90, among other popular vehicles.
In 2015, Schwekutschtook over responsibility for the drive units from design and engineering to manufacture and validation for Tesla at its factory in Fremont, California. And while there he was involved in the development of the ‘leading edge Drive Systems in the Tesla Roadster II and the Tesla Semi/Tesla Truck.’
Electrek has found out recently that Apple has hired Schwekutschto join its Special Project Group that includes Apple’s Project Titan division, which was to consist of a self-driving system for vehicles after a scale-back of the plan. However with Schwekutschhiring, it is clear that Apple plans on bringing a complete EV to market.
Apple has hired other top Tesla engineers to be part of its Project Titan divisionamong whom is Doug Field, former longtime engineering executive at Tesla who then went to Apple to lead their car project last year alongside Bob Mansfield, who was brought out of retirement by Apple in 2016 to lead its Project Titan car team.
Electrek also learned that other former Tesla employees are being hired by Apple as well. According to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, they are employees that Tesla has fired. However, Apple has hired longtime executives and engineers who do not appear to have been fired by Tesla. On the other hand, Tesla laid off several employees last year some of whom did end up with Apple. And Schwekutschdid join the Project Titan division,after Apple laid off some of its own staff.
Electrek comments that Apple’s developing and building a complete EV from the ground up is quite significant. With Apple’s billions in capital and its incredible software and hardware expertise, the addition of Schwekutschand Fieldgives Apple a winning solution in the EV market.