The big picture: Apple's electric car ambitions have gained mainstream attention once again and recently prompted a key figure of this industry, Elon Musk, to comment on a potential acquisition offer that he had for Tim Cook, back when Tesla was going through 'production hell' with the Model 3 in 2017. The meeting, which Musk says was 'refused' by Tim Cook, could have resulted in Apple acquiring Tesla for $60 billion at the time, or 1/10th of the EV maker's current value.
Although Tesla and Apple have held talks regarding an acquisition before, renewed interest around the latter's electric car project has brought to light another offer which Elon Musk claims to have made to Tim Cook during "the darkest days" of the Model 3's troubled rollout three years ago.
There have been rumors around the 'Apple Car' debuting as soon as Q1 2021, while another report from Reuters says Cupertino is targeting 2024 for mass production. In a tweet discussing Apple's battery technology for its potentially upcoming EV, Elon Musk revealed that he reached out to Tim Cook for a possible acquisition of Tesla. But the Apple CEO refused to meet with him.
During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2020
Apple, of course, has been working on its own secret car program, Project Titan, for several years now that it reportedly scaled back to focus on autonomous driving software. However, a potential breakthrough in space and range efficient "monocell" battery technology has seemingly put things into high gear, with Cupertino said to be planning mass production of its first EV by 2024.