For some time, entrepreneur and inventor, Elon Musk, the owner of several tech companies including SpaceX (First private company to produce and launch private rocket expeditions to space), Paypal (a global leader in Electronic payments), Tesla (an acclaimed electric car company) and a host of other outstanding futuristic projects also. Lately, Tesla seems to have held absolute monopoly in the electric car sphere. Thankfully to Apple, all that is about to change now.
Warning, this is article promises to be an exhaustive comparison and weigh of these two tech giants.
You might want to read up our quick facts about Tesla
One has to admit that clean power investments by the two companies aim to redefine the energy industry. Tesla Motors is challenging auto companies to boost electric car innovation, but the company will soon challenge utility companies also by designing a battery that could power a house. Apple is also making huge investments in clean energy for its offices and is reportedly following Tesla in designing electric cars. Tesla has big plans for energy storage innovation with the development of its Gigafactory to mass produce batteries, which is under construction near Reno. Nevada, and could be completed around 2017. Tesla has forecast that the Gigafactory will be capable of building batteries for 500,000 electric vehicles per year by 2020.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk revealed in a recent earnings call that his company will “unveil the Tesla home battery … consumer battery that will be for use in people’s houses or businesses, fairly soon.”
Check out the ongoing wearable rivalry between Apple and Google.
“We have the design done and it should start going into production probably about six months or so,” Musk said. “We probably got a date to have sort of product unveiling, it’s probably in the next month or two. It’s really great. I’m really excited about it.”
This plan for a battery to power a building makes sense because Musk also owns clean energy company SolarCity, says Karl Brauer, senior analyst at the Kelley Blue Book automotive valuation company. Serial entrepreneur Musk made his fortune as a co-founder of PayPal, which was acquired by e-commerce giant eBay in 2002 and is now challenged by Google’s payment system. Musk used his profits from the sale to fund rocket ship company Space Exploration Technologies in 2002, followed by the creation of Tesla in 2003 and Solar City in 2006. The Tesla home battery would match the infrastructure the company is already building to help create an economy that runs on energy storage instead of burning fossil fuels. Musk is expanding a network of “Supercharger” stations across the U.S where users can charge their cars including the flagship Model S. These Supercharger stations allow Tesla drivers to recharge their cars for free, for life. Musk “is hoping to come up with a synergy between his different companies, and a shared goal between Tesla and Solar City could be to challenge utility companies that supply homes with electricity powered by fossil fuels, Brauer says.
“It’s foreseeable in the future that people are going to utilize solar power for their grids during the day and store that energy in a battery in the house for use at night,” he says.
Solar energy is also a favorite investment of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who at a recent conference in San Francisco announced his company will spend $850 million to build a solar energy farm to power its offices, adding that “we at Apple know climate change is real.”
That environmentalist ethos is also driving Apple to devote hundreds of employees to work on a project codenamed “Titan,”an electrical vehicle that resembles a minivan, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Building a car factory and promoting an automobile would be a daunting goal for an ordinary company, but Apple recently became the most valuable U.S. stock in history with its market capitalization passing the record-setting $700 billion mark, and it has an estimated cash trove of $178 billion.
Cook has been pressured to design new innovations since the death of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs, as he has done with the Apple Watch, but a car would further prove his willingness to expand the company’s product line. Apple has been working with auto companies on Internet-connection features for cars, and “Titan” could help the tech giant compete with its rival Google, which has also been applying its Android operating system to cars and developing self-driving vehicles.
Possibility of a compromise?
Perhaps one might be expecting a possibility of a Collaboration like Google and NASA.
The tech giant may even buy Tesla in 2016 for $75 billion “because nobody else can,” according to a bold prediction made by Jason Calcanis, an angel investor who has funded more than 60 startups including Uber. Calcanis noted on his blog that he had no inside information about any deal, but he tried to make an honest case for his forecast by explaining that he does not own stock in either company. Reasons he cites for his prediction include that Apple’s reputation may appeal to Musk, and that Tesla has a head start in producing electric cars
The Verdict :
“No other car company can catch up with Tesla — it’s already game over,” Calcanis argues.”Apple would need at least seven years to get a car on the road: three or four years to design it, followed by three to five years of building factories capable of any sort of modest capacity.
Apple expressed interest in Tesla and “had” conversations with the electric carmaker in 2013, Musk has told Bloomberg, who added that a sale is “very unlikely.”
A potential hurdle for electric car manufacturing is arranging a supply chain of minerals to build the batteries.