Apple Pursued BMW i3 For Its Own Car (Rumor)

If one Apple electric car story this week wasn’t enough for you, here’s another. Rumor has it Apple wanted to use the BMW i3 (or at least part of it) as the base for its own electric car. Apple CEO Tim Cook (and other high-rollers at Apple) even visited BMW’s Leipzig (Germany) factory where the BMW i3 is assembled.

BMW i3
Photo by Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica | EV Obsession (CC BY-SA 4.0)

German magazine Manager (h/t Green Car Reports) says that talks have broken off regarding this possibility, but it’s not clear why. Plus, let’s be honest, this is all just a rumor for now. Though, it seems that Manager has a pretty good reputation — it ain’t no Gawker or Telegraph.

Naturally, the BMW i3 has a few things going for it that Apple could have found appealing. It’s the most efficient car on the US market. It utilizes lightweight, cutting-edge carbon fiber. It is super green, making use of recycled plastic and bamboo, among other things. And it has gotten fairly good reviews (full disclosure: that’s my giddy review — click it!).

Furthermore, if it were used in taxi/chauffeur services, the BMW i3’s suicide doors would be a handy way to ensure people don’t jump into the backseat or jump out of it when not desired — come on, that is a legitimate benefit!

Since we’re off in no-man’s land with regards to speculation now, perhaps I’ll wrap up this story.

I think the evidence is getting pretty darn clear that Apple has been working on an electric car of some sort. Whether it still is (I would think so, given this recent hire), and the various details of what would be so special about the car (self-driving? integrated with everything Apple? flying? for the 0.01%?), are still up in the air. Hopefully we’ll have more information soon. And heck, maybe Apple could just tell us what’s going on?!


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Zachary Shahan

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.