Apple has hired automotive industry veteran Doug Betts, who most recently served as senior vice president of global quality for Fiat Chrysler, fuelling rumors that the company is moving ahead in its efforts to develop an electric car.
Betts’ LinkedIn profile shows the longtime auto exec moved to Apple’s ‘Operations’ team in July after leaving Fiat Chrysler in November last year. He has held similar quality assurance positions for Japanese automobile manufacturing giants Nissan and Toyota.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tim Cook approved Apple’s electric car project back in 2014 and has assigned “hundreds” of employees to the project’s team. Moreover, it has also been reported in the past that Apple has hired president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development, Johann Jungwirth, along with other auto industry execs.
Apple has gathered dozens of engineers — some grabbed from the company’s iPhone group — at a secret location off the Cupertino campus to research various car technologies, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Further evidence of Apple’s supposed interest in electric vehicles comes from the company’s ongoing poaching war with Tesla, and battery technology company A123, which filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging illegal poaching of its top researchers involved in high-performance, large format battery products.
Bloomberg says the company is pushing to launch its own electric car by the year 2020, citing “people with knowledge of the matter”.