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The rental is the latest sign that Apple is seriously considering building an electric car to compete with automakers like Tesla.
Hyundai said earlier this year that it was in talks with Apple to manufacture its car before going back on its comments and confirming that it was no longer in discussions. Apple’s car project has been restructured several times, most recently in early 2019.
Apple never confirmed that it was building a car, but hired talent from the auto industry and tested autonomous driving software in California. In 2018, Apple hired Tesla’s Doug Field, who worked on Tesla’s Model 3. With its expertise in supply chains, battery technology, and user experience, Apple would be a major competitor to existing automakers if it ever released a car.
Apple hasn’t said whether Kranz will be working on Apple’s car project, which is called Special Projects Group or SPG. But Kranz has extensive experience building teams focused on electric cars.
Prior to joining Apple, Kranz was a co-founder of Canoo, which is working on an autonomous electric car. At BMW, he led the company’s electric car development program, which resulted in the i3 electric vehicle and a hybrid sports car called the i8, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the rental.