Apple’s cancelled ‘Titan’ presages rise of mass market EVs

From 2014, Apple conducted R&D on a prospective vehicle codenamed ‘Project Titan’. Although the company kept most details under wraps, it was widely reported to be an autonomous electric vehicle scheduled for release in the latter half of the 2020s. However, in February 2024, Apple executives cancelled the project to refocus on artificial intelligence instead.

The news broke at a time when the future of electric mobility is less assured than previously assumed. Global electric vehicle (EV) sales are forecast to grow 36% year-on-year in 2024—down from 62% in 2023, according to Fastmarkets—and this slowdown is causing significant market re-evaluation. In February 2024 alone, Renault cancelled its Ampere IPO, Mercedes-Benz pushed back its 50% total EV sales target from 2025 to 2030, and both GM and Ford announced intentions to tame the scope of their respective EV ambitions.

With a 2023 net income of US$97bn, Apple has resources to which even the largest automakers can only aspire. So, what could its decision to abandon EV development indicate about the market’s prospects?

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