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Apple’s Plan for Electric Cars? Gotta Charge ‘Em Up First

What do you do when you’ve conquered personal computing and created scores of can’t-live-without devices? Hit the road, of course.

The buzz around Apple Inc. is all about electric cars and the tech giant’s plan to build one. The latest rumor has the Silicon Valley company investigating how to charge electric cars, and potentially talking to charging station companies and hiring engineers with expertise in the area, according to insiders.

Although no official reports have surfaced, it appears the company could be laying the groundwork for the infrastructure and the software needed to power such a product.

Fill ‘Er Up

The moves indicates Apple hopes to tackle one of the most pressing issues of electric cars — charging the batteries. Public charging stations aren’t super common and it takes a long time to fill up a vehicle. This could be a key focus for Apple, given its ability to transform electronics into seamless, user-friendly devices.

Apple, which has never publicly announced plans to build electric vehicles, declined to comment on the charging station buzz. But automotive insiders say the company is researching a self-driving electric vehicle as a potential new source of revenue.

Hitting the (Tech) Books

Apple now appears to be in research mode, asking charging station companies how their technology works, according to insiders. And the Cupertino, California-based company is in hiring mode. The tech giant has hired at least four charging specialists, including a former BMW employee and a charging expert from Google.

At this time, it’s not clear if Apple is looking to build its own proprietary technology like Tesla Motors’ Supercharger network or create something that would be compatible with options from other tech and automotive players.

So far, charging station suppliers are staying mum on any partnerships with Apple.

If it’s a go, Apple would compete against industry heavyweights Car Charging Group Inc., General Electric, Siemens and Delta Electronics.

It’s a hefty climb, but given Apple’s track record in innovation an iCharging Station may just become a reality.

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