Apple is being sued for poaching auto engineers in an effort to create a large-scale battery division inside the company.
According to a report from the New York Times, A123, a company specialized in large lithium-ion batteries is suing Apple in an effort to stop the iPhone maker from poaching its employees. According to the complaint filed by A123, Apple has been hiring high-value engineers to work on “similar if not identical” battery-related projects as they had at A123. The company claims this is a breach of the employees’ non-compete contract clause.
Recently, numerous rumours and reports have started circulating regarding Apple’s interest in developing an electric car. From seemingly self-driving vehicles, to employees claiming the company is itching to compete with Tesla, to reports of top executives talking to those in the auto industry, Apple seems poised to take on the automobile market.
And what could be more important in an EV than the battery that powers it? Apple has always had a good reputation when it comes to battery life for its devices, thanks to a combination of high-quality hardware and software optimization. However, if the computer maker truly wants to compete with Tesla – which is currently building a huge battery factory – it needs to step up its efforts in this field.
Apple has yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit and A123 is not commenting further. However the whole incident seems to reinforce the notion that Apple is indeed building an electric car. Whether the project actually makes it to market remains to be seen in the future.
Source: NYT| Image via Geekwire