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Apple hires former Canoo CEO because it ramps up electrical automobile undertaking

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Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW government and the just lately departed CEO and co-founder of EV startup Canoo, has been employed by Apple, the corporate has confirmed to The Verge. Kranz will reportedly work on the Silicon Valley behemoth’s electrical automobile underneath Doug Subject, the previous Tesla government who runs the day-to-day operations of the undertaking, which is codenamed “Undertaking Titan.” Information of Kranz becoming a member of Apple was first reported by Bloomberg.

Kranz was one of many executives who helped launch BMW’s all-electric i3 hatchback and hybrid i8 sports activities automobile. Shortly after he left the German automaker on the finish of 2016, he and fellow BMW government Stefan Krause had been tapped to help turn around struggling EV startup Faraday Future. The pair clashed with Faraday Future’s founder, although, and in late 2017, they left and formed what eventually became Canoo.

Kranz, Krause, and a handful of different expats from BMW and different legacy automakers got here up with an all-electric van that they deliberate to promote on a subscription foundation solely, which they revealed in 2019. The van was designed round a compact, modular platform that included the battery pack, the electrical motors, and principally the entire automobile’s electronics, which Canoo hoped to promote or license to different producers.

Canoo’s EV platform pitch was engaging sufficient that Apple held talks with the startup in early 2020, as The Verge exclusively reported earlier this year. Talks between the 2 firms finally broke down, although, as Canoo most popular to take an funding, whereas Apple was concerned about an acquisition. Canoo additionally had an settlement with Hyundai to construct automobiles based mostly on the platform, however the startup has since walked away from that deal.

Kranz now finds himself close to the highest of a really massive staff inside Apple that’s engaged on an electrical, autonomous automobile. Apple began the undertaking in 2014, nevertheless it has gone by way of a number of revisions, with the corporate at one level focusing solely on growing autonomous know-how. However during the last yr, Apple has shifted back to trying to develop a vehicle and has reportedly held talks with a number of automakers in addition to battery companies like China’s CATL.

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Kranz was simply one in all various high executives who left Canoo during the last yr. Krause, who was Canoo’s first CEO, departed final yr. Canoo’s chief monetary officer and its chief lawyer also left this year following the startup’s merger with a particular function acquisition firm, or SPAC. 5 of the unique 9 co-founders stay with the corporate, whereas those that’ve left have been changed by folks near the corporate’s new CEO, Tony Aquila, who took over after Canoo went public as a result of the SPAC merger.

Aquila has since pivoted Canoo away from the subscription mannequin thought and is as a substitute centered on creating business electrical automobiles for small companies. Aquila detailed the adjustments he was making to the corporate on Canoo’s first name with traders as a public firm in March. Krause was not on that decision, regardless of nonetheless being CEO on the time. As The Verge first reported late final yr, Kranz’s contract with Canoo was renegotiated as part of the SPAC merger.

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