In a major boost for Apple’s electric car ambitions, the company has hired former BMW senior executive and self-driving vehicle startup founder Ulrich Kranz.
Apple hired Kranz just a few weeks ago after he stepped down as the CEO of Canoo, a self-driving electric vehicle startup that he co-founded. Before that, Kranz worked at BMW for 30 years. He was the SVP of the group that developed BMW’s i3 and i8 electric vehicles.
After leaving BMW, Kranz worked at Faraday Future for three months before he went ahead and co-founded Canoo. Faraday Future and Canoo both have not really had any breakthrough success as they have struggled with their tech.
This major new hiring from Apple hints at its ambitions with its self-driving electric vehicle. Kranz will report to Doug Field, who previously worked at Tesla and led the Model 3 development. The hiring also comes amidst Apple losing some key executives from its Apple Car team.
A recent report suggested that Apple is in talks with the world’s largest Chinese EV battery supplier to source batteries for its electric vehicle. The company was also in talks with Hyundai-Kia for building the Apple Car, but the talks reportedly fell through.
Apple itself lacks the expertise to build an electric vehicle, so it remains to be seen what the Cupertino company plans to do. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the Apple Car is still half a decade away at the earliest. It is in the early stages of development, so there’s a lot that could change by the time the vehicle is ready to launch.[Via Bloomberg]