Apple Inc. has been rumored to be developing a car, and recent evidences are appearing up that it might really be, according to a review by Reuters. Just over a year ago, Apple had applied for just eight patents related to auto batteries, but just recently, it has tapped some engineers – one of whom had filed for 17 in his former career, a Thomson Reuters analysis showed.
These hiring and patent filings only beef up rumors that that Apple really trying to boost its industrial lithium-ion battery capabilities for developing a car. While electric vehicle are seen as a promising technology for the environment and for the future, its widespread adoption has been hampered by high costs and "range anxiety."
These concerns, where appropriately addressed, could make EVs a lot easier to sell. According to an analysis by Thomson Reuters, the number of auto-related patents filed by Apple, Google Inc., Samsung, Tesla Motors Inc. and Uber tripled from 2011 to 2014. Apple has so far lagged behind its rivals in terms of the number of filed patents, filing for only 290 such patents as of 18 months ago.
On the other hand, Samsung, a known supplier of electric vehicle batteries, had nearly 900 patent filings related to auto battery technology. Earlier this month, battery maker A123 Systems filed a lawsuit against Apple for poaching five top engineers.
A search of LinkedIn profiles showed that Apple has tapped at least another seven A123 workers and at least Tesla 18 employees since 2012. These former A123 workers are experts in battery cell design, materials development and manufacturing engineering, according to their LinkedIn profiles and an analysis of patent applications.