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Apple building a car ‘is a matter of when, not if’: Wedbush’s Dan Ives

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Apple’s (AAPL) project to build an electric car with full autonomous capabilities has a “75%, 80% plus chance” of becoming a reality, Wedbush Securities managing director and senior equity analyst Dan Ives told Yahoo Finance Live in an interview Friday.

Apple has reportedly long been working on building an electric car model, but has yet to release any public information on the project. Apple’s EV project first came to public light in early 2015 when it became known that Apple was offering incentives to Tesla workers to come work on electric cars with the consumer electronics company. A Reuters article in 2016 reported that Apple had been secretly investigating charging stations and attempting to gain expertise in the area.

“It's a matter of when, not if Apple comes out with the Apple car,” Ives said. “We've assigned 75%, 80%-plus chance that this happens. We've said 2024 [as a possible release date for the Apple car].”

The project, referred to as “Titan,” would launch Apple into the $10 trillion-a-year global mobility market. The industry, which now accounts for 13% of global GDP, has grown rapidly for the past four decades at a rate of 3.8% a year.

“Apple is not going to view this market from the outside,” Ives said. “It's a fourth Industrial Revolution playing out. And I think Cook and company within Apple Park, they have a lot of things going on when it comes to autonomous [vehicles].”

EVs could make up 20% of global market by 2030

EVs currently make up about 3% of the global market share - but this figure could rise expeditiously over the next decade. A report released last year by Sopheon, an enterprise innovation management company, projected that Mild hybrids (MHEVs) will jump from 3% of the global market in 2020 to 20% by 2030.

Tesla (TSLA) dominates the EV industry for now, and has enjoyed a historic run in the stock market this year. But research suggests that might change.

During the first six months of 2020, Tesla accounted for 79.5% of all new EVs registered in the US. For the same period in 2021, Tesla’s share of new EV registrations dropped to 66.3%.

Audi, Ford (F), and Chevrolet (GM), older car companies with significantly larger sales numbers, have created a presence in the EV market as of late. But other EV-focused companies have begun to grow, in the US and abroad, that could threaten Tesla’s dominance in the industry.

Rivian, an electric vehicle automaker, launched its IPO on Nov. 10 and raised nearly $12 billion. Chinese electric vehicle producers like NIO (NIO) and Xping (XPEV) have also established a market presence.

Ihsaan Fanusie is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @IFanusie.

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