Reports about Apple developing an electric vehicle to compete with Tesla and other EV manufacturers popped up in 2015 after CEO Tim Cook reportedly gave his go-signal a year prior. The tech giant went on to hire top talent to fill positions for its EV project codenamed Titan and poached key people from other firms, including Doug Betts, who was quality lead at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The project was later discontinued.
Now, Apple may be reviving its EV ambitions. The company confirmed that it has recruited Ulrich Kranz, formerly the senior executive at BMW AG’s electric car division. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Canoo, an EV company based in Torrance, California. Citing sources privy to the matter, Bloomberg reports that Kranz will help oversee Apple’s EV project.
Kranz joined Apple approximately a month after he left Canoo. Prior to his role at Canoo, Kranz served as a Senior Vice President at BMW, where he worked for three decades, as per his LinkedIn profile. He developed some of the firm’s vehicles, including the BMW i3 and the i8.
In 2016, Kranz left BMW to provide consultation services for an investment firm and EV startups. Apple’s move to hire someone with decades of automotive experience marks the company’s growing EV push. Kranz will report directly to Doug Field, who leads Apple’s car project. That said, it might take a couple of years before we see an actual Apple vehicle on the road, seeing as the effort is still in its infancy.