Earlier this year it came out that Apple was being sued by battery maker A123 Systems for poaching one of its top electric vehicle battery engineers. While A123 has said it is getting out of the EV business, the lawsuit also alleges that Apple has lured away other big battery builders, lending credence to rumors that it is building its own electric car division.
VentureBeat reports that one of the employees in question was one Mujeeb Ijaz the CTO of A123 Systems, who was paid nearly $300,000 per month to develop batteries for Formula 1 race cars. That’s top-of-the-line battery tech, making him an ideal candidate for Apple’s own battery program. The lawsuit alleges that Ijaz and other A123 employees, as well as employees from the battery divisions of Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic, and LG, were poached via an “aggressive campaign” by Apple to populate its own large battery division.
The suit says that Ijaz and Apple knowingly broke a contract, and Apple is reportedly settling with A123 out of court, most likely in order to put this little episode behind them and not let out any more information on the so-called “Project Titan” electric car. The mounting evidence of an Apple electric car is increasingly impossible to ignore though. Apple has been accused of targeting employees from Tesla with quarter-million dollar signing bonuses, and a suspicious facility near Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters seems to be dedicated to in-house car research. For a company that mostly makes phones and computers, adding an on-site garage is a strange move indeed. There are also rumors of a massive factory complex that Apple is building in Ireland, but who knows what that could be for? We probably won’t know until much closer to 2020.
The only thing I know for sure is that I should have taken engineering courses, instead of devoting whole semesters to parsing through Tolstoy and Milton.