Tesla CEO Expects No Apple Car Before 2020, Calls it 'Missed Opportunity'

Apple's rumored electric car is unlikely to hit full-scale production or be ready for shipping before 2020, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk offered his prediction to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the Code Conference, where he claimed that Apple's ambitions, while admirable, were falling behind in a fast-paced industry.

Recode Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk interviewed yesterday at the Code Conference (Image: Asa Mathat)

"I think it's great they're doing this, and I hope it works out," said Musk. "It's just a missed opportunity. It's a couple years... they'll make a good car and be successful."

In September 2015, it was reported that Apple had spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car and given permission to leaders of the project, code-named Titan, to triple its 600-person team to facilitate development in anticipation of a possible shipping date in 2019.

Musk's comments suggest that the 2019 date might realistically indicate the point at which engineers confirm the main features of the product, and would seem to corroborate earlier rumors that fixed on a 2020 timeframe for the car's launch.

Q&A with Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the Code Conference.

During the wide-ranging Code Conference interview, Musk also claimed Tesla's Model 3 would hit its prospective 2017 launch year, by which time his company aims to fulfill more than 325,000 pre-orders for its lower-priced model.

Musk said the car's design would be finished in about six weeks' time. "Almost all of the Model 3 design is done, and we're aiming for pencils down basically in six weeks, complete pencils down. And we're tabling — you know, if there are ideas for future cool things, we'll have it in version 2, version 3," he said.

Musk also expressed his doubts that Google will release a car, despite its years of testing self-driving electric vehicles, and instead he expects the company to license its technology out to existing automotive manufacturers.

The bulk of Apple's car research and development is thought to be taking place in secretive buildings in Sunnyvale, California, where late night "motor noises" have been heard.

You can watch the full interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

garnerx Avatar
78 months ago
Who would want an Apple branded car? The entire thing would have to be replaced after a couple of years when a new version of the OS renders it obsolete and the batteries no longer hold a charge.

At least it would be razor-thin, though. Ideal for parking in tight spaces.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dilster3k Avatar
78 months ago
Why are they making a car? Just why?
I get they ship Lithium batteries in their computers but do they really have the urge to shove them into a car?

I mean look CarPlay has to be literally one of the worst things ever, and why would they shift focus on such a huge project when their fundamentals such as the phones and computers are so extremely lacklustre currently? There's a reason why there is so much heat in the forums recently because both the software and hardware aren't living up to the legacy, I mean everything they've been releasing recently feels unfinished.

Another thing to point out is that they dropped the concept of creating their own TV set in favour of providing the software for all other TVs (Apple TV), and I believe they should do the same with this car thing and stick to providing great software for cars out there.

I'm sure they'll make something great, but I'm sure it'll be the next Apple Watch and not the next iPhone...
They really need to shift their priorities.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Havalo Avatar
78 months ago
I think he's going to regret that statement in the coming years :)
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeefCake 15 Avatar
78 months ago
Musk always feels the need to mention Apple at every interview...
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeefCake 15 Avatar
78 months ago
Who would want an Apple branded car? The entire thing would have to be replaced after a couple of years when a new version of the OS renders it obsolete and the batteries no longer hold a charge.

At least it would be razor-thin, though. Ideal for parking in tight spaces.
What are you talking about! I have a 4 year old rMPB still running fine with the new OS X and only lost 5% of battery capacity...no need for FUD
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
c0ppo Avatar
78 months ago
I guess Apple is finally developing it's own car. I imagine it would look something similar to this:



Most thinnest car in the world. But only for one person. And the battery will hold for 100 miles or so.
If you want a better battery, and a 2 person vehicle, you're in luck. Coz there will be also Apple iCar+ version.

First versions will be bendable, but after that one they will use better materials. Be sure to become the beta tester for only 200 000$ (starting model).
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
iOS 16 mock for article

Which Devices Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Support?

Thursday May 12, 2022 7:29 am PDT by
While there are as yet no concrete rumors related to which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week may be an indication that as many as nine devices could be about to lose support for Apple's upcoming operating systems. iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15 support all of the same devices, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus,...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
sony

Sony Unveils Redesigned WH-1000XM5 Headphones With Improved Noise Cancelation

Thursday May 12, 2022 9:26 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and today Sony announced its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones, boasting a new design and several improvements over the previous model. The redesigned headphones replace the shrouded arms that swivel on the XM4's with an exposed arm that has a single contact point at the earcups,...
apple tv 4k design clue

Kuo: New Apple TV to Launch in Second Half of 2022, Lower Price Possible

Friday May 13, 2022 7:58 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch a new version of the Apple TV in the second half of 2022, according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet today, Kuo said the new Apple TV will have an improved cost structure, suggesting that the device could have a lower price that is more competitive with other streaming media players like Google's Chromecast line, Amazon's Fire TV line, and the Roku line. ...
iPhone 14 Purple Feature

Full Range of iPhone 14 Color Options Revealed by Purported Leak From China

Wednesday May 11, 2022 2:20 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models will be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color, according to a recent rumor. The claim comes from a post on Chinese social media site Weibo by an unverified source and purports to reveal the full range of color options for Apple's upcoming iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. Compared to the selection of color...