According to his Linkedin page, Ahn Soonho, Apple’s worldwide battery development Head has gone to Volkswagen to manage the automaker’s research of electric car batteries.
This is the second time in recent months that an Apple executive has left the company to work for a car manufacturer. In September, Apple’s Head of Automobile projects, Doug Field was hired by Ford Motor.
According to his LinkedIn page, Ahn was named chief technical officer of Volkswagen Group Components’ battery division earlier this month.
Ahn, a former official at Samsung SDI’s next-generation batteries group, was hired by Apple in 2018. Apple employs batteries not just in its phones and laptops, but also in its electric cars, which are now under development.
According to Reuters, Apple plans to release an electric car with sophisticated battery technology by 2024, according to industry sources.
Apple has declined to comment, while Ahn and Volkswagen have yet to respond.
“I wouldn’t want to rule anything out,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in October when asked if the company aims to develop batteries and screens in-house like it does CPUs.
During a conference call, he remarked, “It’s more of whether or not we see our way clear to doing something that is materially better.”
Apple Inc’s talks with China’s CATL and BYD over battery supply for its planned electric car have mostly stopped after the suppliers declined to develop U.S. operations specifically for the tech giant, according to three individuals with knowledge of the conversations who spoke to Reuters in September.
Volkswagen has unveiled an ambitious plan with partners to develop six battery plants throughout Europe by the end of the decade, which is critical to its aim of overtaking Tesla Inc as to the world’s leader in electric vehicles.