Is Apple working with Tesla to build the iCar?

Is Apple working with Tesla
Is Apple working with Tesla
Is Apple working with Tesla
Is Apple working with Tesla

The idea of Apple designing a cool electric car is again sending the news world into a frenzy. We know Steve Jobs wanted to design a car, so why not with Tesla?

A few years ago on another news outlet, I wrote an article on what Steve Jobs’ electric car would look like. I extrapolated it based on computer magazines and the excellent Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson. The conclusion was that Steve Jobs would have used his love of German design, form follows function, and that the iCar would look very similar to an Audi or a Mercedes.

What would an Apple iCar look like?

One thing my original article tied together was an obvious Tesla Motors and Apple connection. George Blankenship left Apple after successfully designing the Apple Store and used that magic to create the same customer experience with the Tesla Stores. Keeping in mind, Mercedes invested in Tesla Motors with their Smart ForTwo EV project and you can see how we have an interesting trio vying for greater market shares.

A Smart Tesla

Is Apple going to Tesla?

The news confirmed last week that Apple security guru Kristin Paget left the company for Tesla Motors. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t. Electric vehicles (EV) are rolling computer platforms with open connections to the Cloud. It is reassuring to see Tesla taking security very seriously. We also know Apple tried to join the EV revolution a little late after seeing Ford use Microsoft Windows for its infotainment center. Apple has been spotted walking along Auto Shows talking to manufacturers.

Is an Apple iCar with Tesla Motors technology a such a stretch? Or more to the point, would Apple buy Tesla Motors and start the “next big thing”? And why has this sent a few screaming bloody murder?

Apple met with Tesla late 2013, although both companies are mum about the outcome. So far, it doesn’t look as if Apple has any intentions on buying Tesla. While both companies are heavily involved in information technology (IT), they complement each other enough to not a merger. It would be a shame to see an independent start up as Tesla Motors get swallowed up by a giant IT company. Tesla Motors is a much more disruptive company than Apple is today. Apple would need Tesla Motors more.

We can speculate on the actual design an iCar would have. We could even argue whether it would keep the original Steve Jobs ideals that design and built quality should be apparent everywhere, even if hidden from view. But what is even more interesting is how can Apple  jump on board the EV world this late into the game. Would Apple help Tesla Motors, or would Tesla help Apple find its next greatest thing? One thing is for sure, a Tesla with some Apple touches would be great.

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart