Apple has lost another high-profile executive, its global head of battery development Soonho Ahn. The senior executive has joined Volkswagen to develop batteries for its electric vehicle (EV) projects. In September this year, Apple Car chief Doug Field joined Ford Motors as its chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer. Both executives left amidst rumors that the tech giant is pushing to launch its EV in the next four years.
The departure of Apple’s head of battery development might undermine its EV project
In 2018, former Samsung SDI vice president, Soonho Ahn joined Apple to head its battery development division. Ahn’s LinkedIn profile lists that he is the CTO of Battery Division, Group Components, at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg, Germany. According to Tesla North, Volkswagen plans to build six new battery cell sites in Europe with the capacity to manufacturer 4 million EVs annually and with that it aims to become a leading battery cell manufacturer.
It can be assumed that Ahn was also in charge of a new battery for the company’s autonomous electric vehicle, along with other products. Sources claim that Apple Car will be powered by a new revolutionary battery which will give a longer ranger with higher power efficiency than the currently used lithium batteries in electric vehicles like Tesla. Thus, his departure can be considered a setback for the Cupertino tech giant’s Project Titan.
Having said that, a former autopilot engineer at Tesla CJ Moore joined the Apple Car team just a few days ahead of the news that Cupertino tech company is pursuing level 5 autonomy for its EV. Level 5 autonomy offers full self-driving capability without any human intervention which has not been achieved by any other EV manufacturer yet. In addition, the company is also pushing for a launch by 2025 because of increasing competition in the autonomous electric vehicle industry.