Apple Cars are coming!How will the battery life of the car battery technology be subverted?

Recently, the media quoted Taiwanese manufacturers as saying that Apple may launch its electric car product (Apple Car) two years ahead of schedule, and it is expected to be in the third quarter of 2021, which is about nine months later. To this end, manufacturers are preparing to step up the production of electric vehicle parts in the second quarter of next year.

The report also stated that Apple has recently put forward stocking requirements to Taiwan auto parts factories such as Heda, Bizlink-KY, Heqin, Tomita and other Taiwan auto parts factories, in accordance with the practice of urging iPhone parts from parts, and included relevant companies in the first batch of supply chains. .

Earlier, it was reported that Apple had tested several prototypes on California roads. The latest news related to Apple’s electric car is that Apple’s artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea has become the new leader of the company’s car-building project.

It is worth noting that this time Apple Car may use its own breakthrough battery technology. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple plans to use a unique “single cell” design that would increase the volume of the cells in the battery and free up more space inside the battery pack by eliminating the bags and modules that hold the battery material. .

Apple’s design means the battery can be filled with more active material, giving the car a longer potential range. Apple is also working on a battery chemistry called LFP (lithium iron phosphate), which itself is less likely to overheat and therefore safer than other types of lithium-ion batteries, the person said.

A source familiar with the matter commented on Apple’s battery technology: “This means that Apple has pushed car battery technology to a whole new level, just like we first saw the iPhone.”

Apple builds a car, turning a thousand times

As early as 2013, Apple announced the “iOS in the Car” program and began to enter the automotive field. In 2014, Apple renamed “iOS in the Car” as the CarPlay in-car system, and at the same time cooperated with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, GM, Toyota and many other car manufacturers.

It can be seen that when entering the automotive field, Apple chose to start with the intelligent vehicle system that it is good at. CarPlay can be seamlessly linked with the user’s iOS device and the dashboard system, and the user can control the Apple CarPlay system through Siri voice, touch screen Display and physical buttons.

In February 2015, a van under Apple’s name was discovered during a road test in California. The official explained that it was conducting a map test project, and then another Apple employee revealed that Apple was poaching people from Tesla. So far, Apple’s car-building project officially entered the people’s field of vision. Not long after, some media revealed that Apple had launched a “Titan” project on self-driving cars in 2014.

In October of that year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said when talking about the auto industry: “This industry seems to be changing dramatically. We will wait and see. I do think the industry is at an inflection point of tremendous change.” Cook also pointed out , The importance of software will increase day by day in the entire system architecture of the future car. Today, five years later, this view has been recognized by more and more people in the industry.

In 2016, the Apple car-building project called “Titan” had a real hammer. The source of the revelations is Musk, the CEO of Tesla who was poached by a large number of people. He said that Apple could make a compelling electric car: “If you hire more than a thousand engineers to do the job, it’s hard to hide it.”

In December 2016, Apple submitted an open letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the content of the letter also confirmed that Apple is vigorously carrying out research on autonomous driving. In April of the following year, Apple filed a report with California regulators on its self-driving vehicle testing program and obtained permission.

Apple Cars are coming!How will the battery life of the car battery technology be subverted?

Source: Geek Park

Since the end of 2017, Apple has gradually begun to disclose related patents: 2018 and 2019 are the most, with 31 and 32 respectively, and 2020 is not over yet, Apple has applied for 28 patents related to automobiles.

In July 2018, in the case of “Zhang Xiaolang stealing Apple’s unmanned technology secret espionage case”, the court documents missed two important facts. First, 5,000 of Apple’s 135,000 employees were informed of the Titan project. There are 2,700 people who have access to the confidential database, which is far greater than the outside world’s estimate of the scale of Apple’s self-driving project of 1,000 people. Second, Apple is building patented chips and prototype cars, and has already implemented suspension devices for the power system and drive system. made a request.

It can be seen that, after several years of development, the Apple Titan project has become an open secret, and its scale is also growing. However, Apple’s road to building a car has not been smooth sailing.

In 2016, according to a Bloomberg report, Apple temporarily abandoned plans to launch its own cars, when hundreds of car team employees were laid off. According to an anonymous source, the Apple Car project may focus on autonomous driving systems. Since then, Steven Zadesky, who was in charge of Apple’s electric car project, resigned, and company veteran Bob Mansfield, who was Apple’s senior vice president, took over the Titan project, and Apple’s Apple Car was delayed until 2021.

Shortly after, Apple recruited Dan Dodge, a former executive in BlackBerry’s self-driving car software division. Dan Dodge, the founder of the QNX automotive operating system, has joined in a signal that Apple could potentially focus on developing a software platform for driverless cars.

In 2018, Apple conducted 79,745 miles of road testing in California, far exceeding the previous year’s 838 miles, but in the Disengagement Report, Apple ranked last, with an average disengagement distance of just over a mile. a little.

At the end of 2018, Doug Field, who served as Apple’s vice president of hardware, Tesla’s vice president of engineering, and was in charge of Tesla’s Model 3 project, returned to Apple and began a new round of reorganization of the Titan project team. It is reported that the result of this reorganization is: 38 engineering project managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers, 22 software engineers and other 190 key engineers were laid off.

Earlier this year, Apple submitted a report to the relevant California authorities, which showed that public road testing of Apple’s self-driving test vehicles has been greatly reduced, from 80,000 miles in 2018 to 7,544 miles in 2019. At the same time, earlier this month, “Bloomberg” also reported that the head of the Titan project has been handed over from Doug Field to John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president in charge of machine learning and AI strategy.

It can be seen that the person in charge of Apple’s electric car project has taken turns to go to battle, and has been tossed and turned several times. This time, can Apple Car really come?

Make a comeback, can the Phoenix Nirvana?

In fact, at present, Apple’s related products in the automotive field, in addition to the already quite mature CarPlay car system, and the iPhone model equipped with the U1 chip can be turned into a car key, the real car products can almost be said to have shadows. Haven’t seen it yet.

Back then, before the iPhone 4 was a surprise, Apple had accumulated a lot of experience with the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. Today, just from a few concept drawings, it is clear that Apple’s car will be launched in less than a year, which always gives people a sense of magic.

No matter in the relevant reports of “Economic Daily” or “The Verge”, the supply chain companies are all Taiwanese manufacturers that have a close relationship with Tesla, such as Heda, a reduction gear set supplier, Tomita providing electric motors, and trade. Lian-KY provides the battery assembly wiring harness, while Delta provides the power converter. Even more thought-provoking is that even if these components are provided by suppliers, who will provide the complete vehicle for Apple?

Of course, this does not mean that it is impossible for Apple to build a car. Mobile phones and automobiles also have certain similarities in a certain sense. Both are capital- and technology-intensive products. With the development of the industry, the foundry model that has been very common in the mobile phone field has also begun to be used in the automotive field. universal.

On October 16, 2020, Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision and Yulon announced a high-profile entry into the field of electric vehicles, and launched MIH, an open platform for intelligent electric vehicles known as the integration of software and hardware. Liu Yangwei, chairman of Hon Hai Precision, made a big wish at the press conference, planning to occupy 10% of the electric vehicle market share from 2025 to 2027, which is a bit like a “fool’s dream”.

In addition, Foxconn and Honghua Advanced Technology are aggressively reaching cooperation with other suppliers and “trying to build a car” is an important signal. This makes us have to suspect that Foxconn has reached an agreement with Apple on the OEM Apple Car.

Furthermore, the core comes from Tesla’s Apple Car team, which really has the strength to build cars. Doug Field, Tesla’s senior vice president of R&D and manufacturing, returned to Apple in August 2018 as SPG’s vice president. Apple poached 2 R&D VPs from Tesla one after another:

In March 2019, Tesla’s vice president in charge of electric drive systems, Dr. Michael Schwekutsch joins Apple as SPG’s Senior Director. At Tesla, Michael Schwekutsch presided over the mass production of the Model 3 electric drive system, and also presided over the development of the electric drive system for upcoming models such as the Tesla Roadster II, Semi, and Cybertruck.

In July 2019, Steve MacManus, Tesla’s vice president of R&D for interiors and exteriors, joined Doug Field as senior director of SPG.

This time, Apple directly chose Tesla’s supply chain in Taiwan as its first batch of supply chains, and it must have a lot to do with the core from Tesla – working closely with familiar suppliers can greatly improve R&D efficiency .

According to the data of the China Passenger Car Association, from January to November 2020, the cumulative sales of electric vehicles in China was 960,000, and the total sales this year will definitely exceed 1 million. From January to November this year, the sales of passenger vehicles in the Chinese market reached 17.79 million, accounting for the proportion of electric vehicles. 5.4%. For the 2021 forecast, a 50% increase is generally expected, so the sales of electric vehicles will be more than 1.5 million next year. Under the condition that sales will not change significantly, the proportion of electric vehicles will reach 8% in 2021.

According to the principles of economics, when a new thing accounts for 5%-10%, there will be explosive growth. Similar to the outbreak of the smartphone market in 2011, in the electric vehicle market this year, there are also three popular products, model 3, Wuling Hongguang mini and BYD Han.

It can be seen that on the road of car building, no matter the prospect or the status quo, Apple has a lot of attraction. However, with strong rivals such as Tesla and traditional car companies eyeing them, Apple is not under much pressure. Applying the popular second curve theory, where is the direction and breaking point of Apple’s discontinuous innovation?

Tianfeng Securities analyst Guo Mingqi previously predicted that Apple will bring L4 or L5 fully autonomous driving to consumers, and Apple Car may come out between 2023 and 2025. This model will become the next Apple star product, because Apple has a huge advantage in the integration of software, hardware and services.

A few days ago, at the launch of Huawei’s new products, it launched the in-vehicle smart screen, and took stock of its own series of achievements in the automotive field. Undoubtedly, cars have become the focus of Huawei’s current focus. .

With the high-profile entry of top technology giants into the automotive field, the industry will undoubtedly be more undercurrent, and a new round of disruption may be on the way.

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