Apple Kills Electric Car Project, Will Shift Many Staffers to Generative AI: Report

Apple has nixed its plans to build an electric vehicle — a project that had been in the works at the tech giant for a decade, according to a new report.

Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources, reported Apple’s decision to wind down the EV project, code-named Project Titan. In a surprise announcement, Apple COO Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, the VP overseeing the project, on Tuesday informed the nearly 2,000 employees who were working on the project that it would be scrapped, per the report.

More from Variety

Layoffs are expected on the team that was building Apple’s EV. Many of the staffers who were working on Apple’s electric vehicle will be “shifted to the artificial intelligence division” under John Giannandrea, senior VP of machine learning and AI strategy, according to the Bloomberg report.

Reps for Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Apple had “imagined the car being priced at around $100,000” and had tentatively planned for a 2028 launch, but executives at the tech giant “were concerned about the vehicle being able to provide the profit margins that Apple typically enjoys on its products,” per Bloomberg. In addition, Apple’s board was “concerned about continuing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on a project that may never see the light of day,” according to the report.

Apple had been secretive about its EV plans and execs have only occasionally publicly commented on them. In 2017, CEO Tim Cook spoke about Apple’s plans to develop autonomous driving technology in an interview with Bloomberg Television, describing it at the time as “the mother of all AI projects.”

In September 2021, Ford Motor Co. hired Doug Field — who had led Apple’s electric-vehicle team as VP of Special Projects — to the position of chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer. Before joining Apple in 2018, he was senior VP of engineering at Tesla.

Apple’s test vehicles logged more than 450,000 miles of autonomous driving in California from December 2022 to November 2023, nearly four times the prior 12-month period, per Wired, citing records filed with the state’s DMV. However, other autonomous-driving technology companies have put each put their vehicles through millions of miles of test runs.

Variety VIP+ Explores Gen AI From All Angles — Pick a Story

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.