The buzz surrounding Apple allegedly bringing an electric vehicle using a new battery technology by 2024 could have happened a few years ago, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
A prolific tweeter, Musk was chatting with followers on the social media outlet yesterday when he decided to weigh in on Apple’s new battery and revealed that he was ready to sell the company to Apple, which could easily afford it at the time, for a bargain basement price.
“During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting,” he tweeted. Tesla is worth more than $610 billion, meaning Cook could have scooped it up for a “mere” $60 billion.
Cook declined to take the meeting. No word if he’s kicking himself now, especially given the ups and downs Project Titan, the reported code name for Apple’s EV project, has experienced during the past few years.
Part of the new EV is a new battery technology, according a Reuters story. The sources told Reuters that the new design could “radically” cut the battery cost while increasing the vehicle’s range. Current range for the top EVs exceeds 300 miles on a single charge, but Tesla, Lucid, General Motors and others are proclaiming that they’re pushing beyond 400 miles with their current vehicles. By the time an Apple EV shows up in 2024, the range could be double that, if not more.
According to the story, the iPhone maker plans to use a “monocell” design. It bulks up the individual cells in the battery, freeing up space inside the battery pack by eliminating pouches and modules holding battery materials. The design allows for more battery material to be stuffed in the battery, extending its range.
Additionally, Reuters reported that Apple is researching a new battery chemistry: lithium iron phosphate, also known as LFP. Its primary advantage is that it’s less likely to overheat, making it safter than other batteries.
Musk was less than impressed by the reported gains in battery technology.
“Strange, if true,” he tweeted, adding, “Tesla already uses iron-phosphate for medium range cars in our Shanghai factory. A monocell is electrochemically impossible, as max voltage is (more than) 100X too low. Maybe they meant cells bonded together, like our structural battery pack?”
Officially, the tech giant has been development an autonomous vehicle system that could be “plugged in” to any vehicle. No word when it will be available. The company’s been testing the system for several months now in California, and it was involved in a collision earlier this year.