Tim Cook heads to Germany to evaluate using the BMW i3 as basis for ‘Apple Car’, reports say
Apple is set to use the BMW i3 vehicle as the basis for its rumoured ‘Apple Car’ amid reports the company is close to agreeing a partnership with the famed German auto manufacturer.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Leipzig, home of the i3’s production line, to meet with BMW executives as they begin to thrash out a deal, according to German publication Manager Magazin.
According to BMW’s website, the i3 (pictured left), which costs around £30,000 in the UK, can be fully charged in around three hours. It has a range of around 80 miles, although this can be boosted with a BMW Range Extender option that pushes the mileage up to around 186 miles.
Apple is particularly interested in the vehicle’s carbon fibre body, which means it weighs just over 1.1 tons.
Apple has been considering moving into the automotive space for some time, as the company looks to widen its product portfolio and begin investing some of its mountainous cash reserves.
BMW already has previous experience working with major technology companies on smart car projects, teaming up with Chinese search titan Baidu. The relationship has been so productive that it could even release a vehicle by the end of the year, the company says.
Several other leading technology companies have also begun considering a move into the smart vehicle industry, most notably Google, whose self-driving cars are currently undergoing thorough testing in the US before a public launch soon.
The company revealed earlier this week that its prototype vehicles have been involved in 11 accidents over the last six years of testing – however, all of these were the result of errors by other (human) drivers.
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