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Apple exploring charging station tech for electric cars, hiring engineers: Report

Apple exploring charging station tech for electric cars, hiring engineers: Report
Apple exploring charging station tech for electric cars, hiring engineers: Report

Apple is showing interest in building charging stations for electric cars by starting talks with companies and hiring engineers who have experience buildings the devices. This suggests that the tech giant could still have plans to build an "iCar" that would compete with other electric vehicles (EVs) including Tesla's all-electric Model S sedan. Last year hints that a robotic Apple car might be in the works included a meeting with California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the rules of the road for self-driving cars, and a report that the company was searching for a site in the San Francisco Bay area to road test autonomous vehicles (AV).    

Reuters first reported the news about Apple's interest in EV charging stations. The company is researching the tech required for charging stations used to power its electric cars.


Apple has not officially reported talks with experts in charging station tech. It also is not related to changing EVs of Apple employees, which the company already provides as a service, according to 9to5 Mac.

Apple will likely want to focus on the charging stations if it does not build an iCar. They replace gas stations and are a new market in the world of green cars.

It is unclear why Apple is interested in charging stations and the technology they use. It could build a system like Tesla's Supercharger network. Apple might also have plans to financially support third-party charging stations without being officially involved.

Apple is responding to the big problems of recharging electric cars' batteries that include the limited number of charging stations and hours wasted juicing up an EV, according to Reuters. It could invent another game-changing design for consumer electronics.   

Apple's Project Titan is the company's top-secret EV car team that includes about 600 employees. The company is reportedly scouting a 800,000 square-foot (244,000 square-meter) area for the group.  

Earlier this year Apple CEO Tim Cook answered questions about the company's rumored EV project. He said that it will be "Christmas Eve" for a long time. At a different event Cook stated that the company is only committed to a new product when it spends a lot of money to develop it.

Charger Shortfall

The electric car industry has faced a chicken-and-egg paradox with the installation of charging stations. Property owners have been reluctant to install the stations before EVs hit the road en masse, and drivers are wary of buying EVs until charging stations are widely available.

Apple’s home state of California by 2020 will need about 13 to 25 times the roughly 8,000 work and public chargers it currently has, to support a projected 1 million zero-emission vehicles on the road, according to an estimate by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Tesla recently goosed electric vehicle demand, unveiling its more affordable Model 3 sedan, generating hundreds of thousands of reservations from potential buyers and leading many experts to calculate the number of EVs will soon outstrip the charging station supply.

Tesla has led the way with a proprietary network for customers, who also can use public chargers. Tesla’s more than 600 “Supercharger” stations juice up a car in about 30 minutes, more than twice as fast as the standard “fast charger,” called Level 2.

One global engineering and construction firm already has reached out to Apple to offer its services, a person at the firm said.

“It would be natural to assume if Apple is going to have a full battery electric vehicle that creates a seamless consumer experience the way Apple does, the charging infrastructure and its availability would be of paramount importance,” the source said.

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