Reports out of South Korea suggest that if there is an Apple car — which Elon Musk calls the “worst kept secret in the world” — it may feature a revolutionary new battery cell that is hollow in the middle. Because lithium-ion batteries tend to heat up from the center outward, especially during times of high current draw, the hollow center would permit cooling air to access the hottest part of a cell. The breakthrough may also allow a car using the new design to reduce the size of its liquid cooling system or possibly eliminate it altogether, saving costs and weight.
According to ETNews, the company Apple is working with has fewer than 20 employees at the present time. But it cannot disclose its name because it has signed a nondisclosure agreement with Apple. Rumors within the battery industry in South Korea suggest that Apple has been pursuing innovative battery technology for its electric car project — technology that no other car company will have access to. It will need any competitive edge it can get to compete successfully against the likes of Tesla and the world’s major car companies.
The unidentified South Korean battery company is said to have secured international patent protection on its new hollow-core batteries. According to sources, the space in the middle of the battery makes it easy to design parallel connections and to expand battery capacity in the future.
Apple has recently brought senior executive Bob Mansfield out of retirement to spearhead the electric car program. San Francisco–based real estate developer Hudson Pacific Properties tells Autoblog that the company is currently searching for about 800,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the area. It is assumed that space would be utilized by the Project Titan electric car program.
For the moment, industry observers think any Apple car won’t appear before 2020 at the earliest — assuming it ever actually appears. Apple is famously tight lipped about its future products at the best of times and that talent for the taciturn seems to have increased exponentially when it comes to any talk of an Apple car.