Apple working on charging stations for electric cars: report

For some months now, there have been rumours that Apple Inc is working on an electric car - which has been corroborated by many reports and even hinted at by the normally tight-lipped Apple executives (See: Speculation rife about iCar as Apple registers names).

In January Tesla Motors; chief Elon Musk told the BBC that Apple was making a car ( Apple making a car, Elon Musk tells BBC).

Now it appears that Apple might not only be working on the electric car itself, but also on specialised charging stations to power them.

Reuters reports that Apple is looking into how it can build out an infrastructure of charging locations, similar to Tesla's Superchargers, using its own original tech.

This is lent credence because Apple's mantra is to own the entire user experience, which is why Apple makes both the hardware and software for its phones, tablets, computers, and more. If Apple truly is working on an electric car, the company probably doesn't want to rely solely on existing charging options, instead opting to try and advance the tech and infrastructure to improve the experience.

Reuters suggests that that the currently limited number of charging stations and lengthy waits often required "could be an opportunity for Apple" to innovate in the space. Apple has reportedly been hiring engineers from BMW and Google with a focus on charging methods, which previous rumours suggested was more about adding wireless charging to a future iPhone.

Apple is reportedly in talks with several charging tech companies to better understand how their methods work, but Reuters says the companies are "treading carefully", and are concerned about sharing too much data with what could be a potential future rival.

Reports over the past several months claim that Apple aims to have its car ready to manufacture by 2019 (Apple's electric car project on track for 2019 launch ), with an electric model coming first and a self-driving car planned further down the line.

Earlier this month, Apple invested $1 Billion in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing app, which could pay off down the line should Apple need to start mass-testing cars or build services around them (Apple invests $1 bn in Uber's China ride-hailing service rival Didi Chuxing ).