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Apple hires top BMW executive behind i3 and i8 production, for its electric car project

Apple's intent to have its own electric vehicle and automotive technology solutions is quite clear now.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | June 11, 2021 | Updated 14:27 IST
(Image for representation: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Ulrich Kranz has joined Apple to work on Project Titan.
  • He will be reporting to Doug Field, an Apple veteran who led Tesla Model 3's production.
  • Kranz spent 30 years with BMW and is a veteran in the automobile industry.

Apple has made a major development on its electric car project. The Cupertino tech major has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG's electric car division. Kranz will now work towards the electric vehicle initiative by Apple under its Project Titan.

Apple confirmed the hiring on Thursday, which comes as the first big update on the project since December last year. At the time, it was reported that Apple was working on its own self-driving car technology. It was also reportedly planning to produce a passenger vehicle powered by its own breakthrough battery technology by 2024.

Apple's car project is currently being run by Doug Field, an Apple veteran who also led development of Tesla Inc's Model 3 in his few years away from Apple. As reported by Bloomberg, Kranz will now report directly to Field in his new role at Apple.

Prior to this, Kranz was appointed as the chief executive of Canoo Inc, an electric vehicle startup that he cofounded. Before working on his own firm Kranz spent three months at Faraday Future, an electric vehicle solutions firm in America.

Kranz most notable work was with BMW, where he spent 30 years serving as the senior vice president of the team that came up with the stunning BMW i3 and i8 electric and hybrid cars. Arguably the most futuristic cars in the company's portfolio, the EVs were made under Project I. Kranz was asked to run the project after his successful stints at BMW's Mini division and sports cars and SUVs.

Bloomberg cites states that he has joined Apple in "recent weeks." Kranz, however, is not the first automotive industry veteran to join the Apple team in recent years. Post the project's initiation in 2014, Apple also hired Porsche's VP of chassis development for Project Titan, along with several Tesla executives.

Kranz' entry into the team, however, shows the certainty of Apple's intent to come up with its own electric vehicle. The work is still in the early stages though, and it might be time before we actually get to see an Apple car on the road.

Also read: | Apple AR headset will launch in second half of 2022, says analyst

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