Elon Musk believes Apple has declined a meeting to buy Tesla
Elon Musk said Tuesday that he tried to sell Tesla to Apple during the “darkest days” of the Model 3 launch but that CEO Tim Cook “refused” to take the meeting.
In response to a tweet about how Apple recently reignited its intention to produce and sell a hybrid, autonomous vehicle, Musk spoke about the deal. He noted that Tesla was worth only one-tenth of what it is now when the business of electric vehicles finished a historic year in which it became the most profitable automaker on the planet thanks to a meteoric stock price run. Of course, Tesla was already hemorrhaging cash in 2017 and had not yet produced a high-volume electric car.
Musk has previously said that Tesla was away from bankruptcy in 2017 “single-digit weeks” as he focused all the energy of the business towards ramping up production of the Model 3 sedan. Ultimately, Tesla survived and has since begun rolling out the Model Y SUV and announcing new vehicles such as the Cybertruck.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
With an entry into the realms of electric and self-driving vehicles, Apple has spent the last half-decade playing, but before this week it was considered to be focused on designing apps and other technology that could be marketed to other businesses. But on Monday, Reuters announced that its focus on creating a hybrid, autonomous vehicle for general customers has been retrained by the Silicon Valley giant.
One of the reasons Apple supposedly changed course again is that it has made strides concerning the battery on a possible breakthrough. Apple has been designing a lithium iron phosphate battery, according to Reuters, which can be packed more closely in the car’s battery pack, minimizing weight while increasing the possible energy density.
On Twitter on Tuesday, Musk found out that Tesla still uses iron phosphate batteries in some of the cars it makes in China.
“Strange, if true,” he wrote.
Over the past decade, Tesla and Apple have traded lots of talent. Musk joked that Apple was a “Tesla graveyard” when rumors of an “Apple car” first appeared in 2015.
“If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding,” he said.
Musk said at the time that “the next logical thing” for Cook and Apple to collaborate on was an electric car.
“It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches,” Musk said.