Thematic Spotlight: Apple Car Hits a Dead End

After a decade of rumoured development, insiders at Apple have revealed the highly anticipated Apple EV project codenamed “Project Titan” has been terminated.1 The move puts to bed a plan that would have been Apple’s first step into a completely new industry in years which could have unlocked a new area of growth for the company.

Apple’s Project Titan was born sometime around 2014 with the goal of disrupting the then nascent EV space.2 The idea was to produce a vehicle that would make consumers completely re-think their commute. Initial concepts of the product included round, aerodynamic cars with touch screens instead of buttons, with the main selling point being fully autonomous driving.3 Much of that has since come to fruition, despite Apple’s cancellation. While a fully autonomous vehicle is yet to exist, Tesla has since developed highly capable semi-autonomous technologies which allow hands free driving on motorways, and touch screens are now commonplace among newer generation vehicles from a multitude of manufacturers. With such products already on the market, and the EV industry grappling with margin compression and slowing demand – it seems reasonable that Apple no longer sees their future within the EV space.

Nonetheless, the electrification of transport continues to be a megatrend that will inevitably drive growth in the EV industry. Last year, Australians bought 87,000 EVs, more than double the amount bought in 2022.4 Overall, non-traditional vehicles (including hybrids) took up almost 15.3% of the Australian market, up from less than 10% the year prior.5 EV adoption in other nations have also continued to grow. The leading nations, China and Norway, are approaching 40% and 85% EV market penetration respectively.6,7 Meanwhile, US EV penetration grew from 5.9% to almost 8% in 2023.8

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