It’s more or less common knowledge that Apple is working on a vehicle. Rumblings of an Apple car have persisted for the better part of a year now although the company’s interest in the automotive industry dates back many years.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, former Apple senior vice president Tony Fadell said he and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs discussed the matter on multiple occasions. Fadell said the two would take turns posing hypothetical questions to each other such as what they would build, what would the dashboard look like, what would the seats be and how would it be fueled or powered.

The chats took place in 2008, Fadell said, shortly after the launch of the original iPhone. At that time, Apple was far from the technology giant it is today with much smaller cash reserves. Furthermore, that was just around the time that the US auto industry was spiraling out of control. Apple instead elected to focus its attention on building the iPhone brand, a move that clearly paid dividends in retrospect.

Seven years later, the tech and automotive landscapes look vastly different than before. Apple has more than $200 billion in cash and investments available and with autonomous vehicles and alternative energy sources starting to take root, there’s never been a better time for the company to branch out into the auto industry.

Image courtesy David Paul Morris, Bloomberg