2024 Apple Car Reportedly Features Monocell Battery, LFP Chemistry Considered

Apple Car rendering by Franco Grassi 1 photo
Photo: Franco Grassi
Founded in 1976 by three visionaries of the tech industry, Apple shifted to a different business model with the iPod's launch in 2001. The biggest change of fortunes, however, came in 2007 when Steve Jobs took to the stage to demonstrate the iPhone to raving reviews from everybody.
Despite a few lackluster moments in the post-Jobs era, the Cupertino-based giant headed by Tim Cook is doing great from a financial standpoint. Valued at more than a trillion dollars since August 2018, Apple passed the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company in July 2020 as the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company. In other words, the iPhone and iPad maker has money to burn on projects that were unimaginable a decade ago.

“Titan” is the codename of an autonomous vehicle project that was entrusted in 2014 to a former Ford Motor Company engineer by the name of Steve Zadesky. Since then, rumors and official information combined to such an extent that nobody except for Tim Cook has the whole picture figured out.

According to Automotive News, people familiar with the matter suggest that 2024 is when the mystery vehicle is planned to enter production. Two sources further claim that the Apple Car may be pushed into 2025, which is pretty understandable if you remember that the health crisis isn’t over yet.

Just like the iPhone, the car is understood to be manufactured by an outside company. Automakers do this as well, including BMW and Toyota. Lest we forget, the Z4 and GR Supra sports cars are built in Austria by Magna Steyr.

In addition to fully autonomous features that would make even the Cruise Origin blush with admiration, the vehicle is said to use a mono cell battery design. According to people in the know, this layout bulks up individual cells and frees up space by eliminating pouches and modules.

That’s a very tall order and an ambiguous description as well, but then again, Project Titan has been notoriously opaque to outsiders like you and me since day one. Apple is reportedly examining the chemistry for the battery right now, which means that a lot may change by 2024 or 2025.

Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) appears to be the most favored outcome because it's less prone to overheat than other lithium-ion batteries. Tesla has recently embraced this chemistry for the China-built Model 3 Standard Range Plus electric sedan, but there are a few problems with it.

While it may be more affordable than nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA), batteries that utilize lithium iron phosphate are less energy-dense and weigh more. Oh, and by the way, LFP batteries also charge slower and have shorter lifespans.

Previous to this report, Taiwanese sources told the Economic Daily News that Apple might reveal the autonomous vehicle in the third quarter of 2021.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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