Apple’s electric car program just got a major boost.
According to a new report from Electrek, the Cupertino company has hired former Tesla engineering vice president Michael Schwekutsch and put him in Apple’s special projects department. The group is known for groundbreaking projects apart from mobile devices such as Project Titan, Apple’s self-driving car technology.
Schwekutsch’s departure from Tesla earlier this year was described as a “big loss for Tesla” by Elektrek back in March, calling him “a hardcore electric powertrain engineer” who helped engineer the Model 3.
Schwekutsch is known for coming up with notable powertrain development and has worked with a number of engineering groups like BorgWarner and GKN Driveline. He was also instrumental in the development of powertrains in hybrid and electric vehicles like the BMW i8, Fiat 500eV, Volvo XC90, and Porsche 918 Spyder.
With Schwekutsch being responsible for electric powertrains, it is becoming clearer and clearer that Apple might plan, down the road, on having its own vehicle.
“He is the latest of several top Tesla engineers to join the project, which was for a time thought to only consist of a self-driving system for vehicles after a scale-back of the plan,” reads the report. “Now that Schwekutsch, who has exclusively worked on electric powertrains over the last decade, has joined Apple, it is becoming clear that the company plans to bring a complete electric vehicle to market.”
Last year, the special projects department of Apple had to let go a number of employees in what looked to be a sign that the company is abandoning many of its automobile dreams. But looking at the obvious pirating of former Tesla employees, perhaps it’s not too much to hope that we’ll soon see the Apple Car on the road very soon.