‘He (Tim CooK) refused to take the meeting’, said the CEO of the electric car maker
Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday he reached out to Apple Inc Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook “during the darkest days of the Model 3program” to discuss the possibility of the iPhone makeracquiring Tesla Inc for a tenth of its current value.
“He refused to take the meeting”, said Musk, CEO of electric-car maker Tesla, replying to a Twitter chain whichcited a Reuters story on Apple looking to produce a passengervehicle by 2024 with a new battery technology.
During 2017 and 2018, Tesla struggled to ramp up high volumeproduction of the Model 3 sedan, with Musk at the time informinginvestors the company was mired in “production hell” because ofproblems with automated production systems at its batteryfactory in Reno, Nevada.
However, Tesla overcame the problems and has since racked upa string of quarterly profits. The electric automaker became oneof the most valuable companies to join the S&P 500 when itbecame part of the widely followed stock index on Monday.
Shares of Tesla, however, ended 6.5% lower in its S&P 500debut, amid news of potential competition from Apple.
Apple’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, haveproceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first started to designits own vehicle from scratch.
Central to the company’s strategy for auto production is anew battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost ofbatteries and increase the vehicle’s range.
In the same Twitter chain, Musk said “monocell”, which Appleplans to use in its design, “is electrochemically impossible asmax voltage is ~100X too low” unless they are bonded together.
Apple declined to comment while Tesla did not immediatelyrespond to a Reuters request for comment.