A really innovative company that we’ve always had respect for (and an eye on) is Tesla. Under the leadership of PayPal mogul Elon Musk, the California-based company caused a real (electrical) storm when their innovative ‘Roadster’ was released in 2006. The roadster was a real leap forward in Electronic Vehicle (EV) tech; not only was it the first EV to utilise lithium-ion battery cells, but also the first to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. The release of the ‘Model S’ in 2012 reinforced Tesla’s position as one of the world’s most innovative and technologically advanced car firms.
Musk recently predicted that by 2025, Tesla would be worth more than Apple! Given that Apple is breaking all records in terms of revenue and profit, Elon would have to grow his company by 30% every single year while Apple remained stagnant. Possibly not so unrealistic given that annual sales of Electronic Vehicles are projected to hit 3.8 million by 2020 worldwide.
Speculation is reaching fever pitch in light of the current poaching war between the two companies. Apple is allegedly forking out very attractive bonuses of $250,000, (on top of 60% pay rises), to entice Tesla employees to jump ship, leading to speculation that Apple is gearing up to release its own Vehicle. Rumours have been circling of Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ following reports of highly modified Chrysler minivans driving around New York and San Francisco.
It’s not just Tesla that Apple seems to have in its sights; after accusations of aggressive recruiting practises from battery makers A123 (the subject of a current lawsuit), Apple is also said to be looking for staff from automotive giant Mercedes-Benz.
The former Ford engineer who designed the original iPod and iPhone, Steve Zadesky, is heading the 1000-strong team working on Project Titan at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.
There has been talk for some time of a possible deal between Apple and Tesla, with Musk commenting he isn’t fundamentally opposed to working with Apple:
‘From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned’. Of course they are… there’s what is basically a giant iPad fixed to the centre console of Tesla’s Model S and the forthcoming Model X.
A buyout from Apple is unlikely to be sanctioned given Elon’s huge growth forecasts for the future, but whether or not this ultimately ends in a buyout, Apple is likely to continue to recruit staff with automotive knowledge from Tesla, Ford, A123 and others.
Given Apple’s successful track record of making conventional consumer products ‘sexy’, an iCar would certainly be something to look out for – and I suspect Elon Musk will be first on the list to receive one!
Origin Broadband has always been focused on technological innovation. As a company, we were the first to provide residential FTTC in South Yorkshire, and we even did some R&D work to determine the potential of FTTC in terms of speed!
See the Origin Broadband blog for more engaging content – https://blog.origin-broadband.co.UK
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