Apple has quietly employed a former BMW EV exec to the Apple automobile mission, with Ulrich Kranz becoming a member of a rising roster of electrical car expertise because the Cupertino firm will get extra severe about transportation. Kranz isn’t any stranger to Apple, or to electrification, having additionally co-founded EV startup Canoo and, earlier than that, spent a short stint at Faraday Future.
It was BMW the place he started his profession, nevertheless, first on the BMW X5 SUV – which has gone on to be one of many Germany automaker’s most necessary automobiles – earlier than shifting into the electrification staff. There, he spent over 9 years as Senior Vice President for the BMW i division, accountable for the BMW i3 electrical metropolis automobile, and the BMW i8 hybrid sports activities automobile.
It got here as a shock, then, when in mid-2017 Kranz left BMW and joined Faraday Future as Chief Know-how Officer. That didn’t final lengthy, thoughts, and after simply 4 months he left the troubled EV startup to co-found Canoo. There, initially as CTO, after which as CEO, he oversaw improvement of the corporate’s modular skateboard structure for electrical automobiles, which is meant to underpin an reasonably priced EV minivan, a pickup, and a supply car.
Kranz left Canoo in April 2021, in line with his LinkedIn profile. A number of weeks after that, Bloomberg reviews primarily based on sources conversant in the method, he was employed by Apple. There he’ll report back to Doug Area, previously of Tesla the place he led the creation of the Mannequin 3, on the staff generally called Challenge Titan. An Apple spokesperson confirmed Kranz had joined the corporate.
Challenge Titan has seen loads of adjustments since rumors of the division gained traction publicly a number of years in the past. Initially believed to be growing an “Apple automobile” for the Cupertino agency, the mission has gone by means of a number of iterations – gaining and dropping employees alongside the way in which. At varied occasions it has been believed to be growing a fully-autonomous, all-electric automobile which will probably be Apple branded; collaborating with established automakers like Hyundai; and focusing on as an alternative an arguably more-achievable objective of changing into a key tier 1 provider to the auto business with superior driver help expertise and a collection of dashboard software program.
Kranz’s addition to the staff would indicate that Apple’s most grandiose ambitions are firmly again on the agenda. That’s no small problem, even for an organization with its heft: the auto business is a fancy one, with hundreds of suppliers concerned in every product, stringent testing and regulatory processes to navigate, and sometimes slender margins and arduous after-sales assist.
Nonetheless, Apple does begin such a course of with an avid fanbase and loads of expertise with expertise. Apparently, the corporate was tipped to be in negotiations to amass Canoo, with leaks concerning the doable deal rising in early 2021. The talks did not end in both an acquisition or funding by Apple, and Canoo later discovered totally different backing after which grew to become a publicly traded firm late in 2020. In Could 2021, after Kranz had already left, Canoo confirmed that it was being investigated by the US Securities and Alternate Fee.