Former BMW i Senior Vice President Ulrich Kranz is joining Cupertino-based Apple to lead their automotive efforts. According to Bloomberg, Kranz was hired in recent weeks after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo, a company that specializes in self-driving vehicles. At Apple, Kranz is rumored to work on a future Apple car which has gone through a series of personnel changes in the last few years.
Kranz is no strange to BMWBLOG. Back in 2010, we attended the initial launch of the BMW i Division which at the time was in the early staging of promoting the i3 electric vehicle and the i8 plug-in hybrid. In an interview at the time, Kranz talked to us about the future of mobility, battery technology, and more. Kranz left BMW in 2016 to became chief technology officer at Faraday Future.
The hire is the latest sign that Apple is serious about building an electric car, but the same report says that the car development remains in the early stages with a launch projected past 2025. Recently, Apple lost some key auto executives. Benjamin Lyon, Jaime Waydo and Dave Scott, who worked on engineering, safety systems and robotics. The reason for their departure is unknown.
Kranz will bring a wide expertise to Apple, from car manufacturing to battery technology and self-driving capabilities. Apple is just one of the many companies who aims to have fully electric cars on the road by the end of this decade. Apple has never confirmed it is building a car nor confirmed this latest hire.