Apple and Hyundai plan to sign a deal that would lead to a "beta" version of an Apple electric vehicle as early as 2022, according to a Sunday report from Reuters.
Reuters cited a report from Korea IT News that said the companies are planning to sign a deal by March 2021 to partner on the self-driving electric cars, according to a Sunday report from Korea IT News.
With a deal in place, the companies may have a beta version of the vehicle ready by next year, according to the report. Mass production of the self-driving electric vehicles could begin by 2024. The plan would be to build about 100,000 vehicles in the US that year, according to Reuters.
The deal would add a complicated layer to Hyundai Motor Corp.'s business, Morgan Stanley analyst Young Suk Shin wrote on Friday in a research note to clients. It could be positive for Hyundai to be involved when Apple, which is known for disrupting industries, enters the vehicle market, according to Morgan Stanley.
"However, we still see a concern that HMG could effectively be helping a significant competitor to grow," the analysts wrote.
The Hyundai-Apple cars may be built at the Georgia factory that builds Kia Motors vehicles, a Hyundai affiliate. But Hyundai and Apple may instead build a factory that would eventually allow the companies to make about 400,000 vehicles each year.
Rival electric carmaker Tesla earlier this month said it delivered almost 500,000 vehicles in 2020.
"So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all," Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, said on Twitter at the time.
On Friday, Hyundai reportedly acknowledged it was talking to Apple about the self-driving project.
Apple's cars are expected to use a new type of battery designed by Apple, which would "radically" lower costs and extend how far they could drive between charges, according to a December report.