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Apple aims to start producing cars by 2020: Report

Apple is working on an electric car, according to Bloomberg.
Apple is working on an electric car, according to Bloomberg. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

TORONTO – Apple is aiming to begin production on an electric vehicle as early as 2020, according to a Bloomberg report citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

The report, published Thursday, said the timeframe shows how aggressively Apple is working on the project, likely to compete with other electric car makers such as Tesla and General Motors.

Rumours of an iCar first emerged last Friday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the tech giant had hired hundreds of people to work on a secret project under the code name “Titan.” The article said the rumoured electric vehicle will resemble a minivan and would be branded as an Apple product.

READ MORE: Apple reportedly working on electric vehicle

Apple’s industrial design team is staffed with several people with auto-making experience, including Marc Newson, a designer who once created a concept car for Ford.

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Speculation was further fueled Thursday after battery maker A123 Systems revealed it was suing Apple, claiming it poached some of its key staff members. A123 makes lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and other products.

Apple declined to comment on the reports.

Although the tech giant has a loyal fan following, if the company did produce an electric car it would be facing fierce competition from other auto makers.

READ MORE: Tesla announces cheaper model, is it time to buy electric?

In July, Tesla confirmed plans for a third-generation car dubbed the Model 3, which will retail for only US$35,000 – half the price of its popular Model S – making it a more affordable option.

That vehicle is expected to hit the market in 2017.

Last month GM also unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt, a $30,000 concept car that likely will go on sale in about two years. GM promises its vehicle will go 200 miles on a single charge.

Apple already has its foot in the door with the auto industry. In 2014 the company penned a deal with a number of auto makers – including Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz – for its CarPlay system that allows drivers to access their iPhones through in-car controls. The system allows drivers to make calls, access maps and have Siri dictate their messages.

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