Since last year, Apple has hired several battery technology experts from Samsung, Panasonic, Tesla and A123 Systems to developer batteries for the Apple car in-house. Still hungry for innovative battery technology, the Cupertino company has teamed up with a South Korean company to co-develop batteries for the Apple car. According to ETNews, the Korean firm joined Apple’s Project Titan earlier this year.
Apple car may use a hollow battery technology
ETNews could not disclose the name of the company because the battery firm has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple. However, the publication did reveal that the company has only about 20 employees and describes itself as “expert technologists in batteries.” The iPhone maker plans to independently develop batteries for the Apple car based on the Korean firm’s hollow battery technology that could help Apple’s electric vehicle stand out from the competition.
The hollow batteries are cylindrical lithium-ion secondary batteries that are two fingers thick. Since batteries create most heat from the center due to chemical reactions, the Korean company created a battery where cooling and air flow are smooth in the center. It minimizes installation of separate cooling devices. This space can be utilized to design parallel connection to expand battery capacity.
Is Orange Power Apple’s secretive partner?
Folks at MacRumors did some research to find out the name of the company. They uncovered a European Patent Office patent application for a hollow secondary battery. The patent was filed by a South Korean company called Orange Power. According to the company’s website, it has a total of 33 employees, including 25 in R&D. Orange Power could be Apple’s secretive partner in the Project Titan.
Last month, the Cupertino company appointed Bob Mansfield the head of the Project Titan. Since taking over, Mansfield has been focusing on autonomous driving systems. The Apple car was previously expected to hit the roads in 2020, but the deadline has now been pushed to 2021 due to high-profile departures and technical issues.