Apple’s Global Battery Development Chief Moves to Volkswagen

A woman passing the Apple logo on September 16, 2021 in front of the Apple Store in Saint-Embern, near Nantes, France. REUTERS / Stephane Mahe / Files

November 26, 2021

San Francisco (Reuters) – Ahn Soonho, Apple’s Global Battery Development Chief, has moved to Volkswagen to lead the development of electric vehicle batteries for automakers, according to Linkedin’s profile.

This is the second time Apple executives have left for automakers in the last few months. Apple lost Doug Field, head of the car project, to Ford Motor in September.

According to Linkedin’s profile, Ann became Chief Technology Officer of the Battery Division of Volkswagen Group Components this month.

In 2018, Apple hired Ahn, a former executive in Samsung SDI’s next-generation battery division. Apple uses batteries not only in mobile phones and laptops, but also in electric vehicles under development.

Industry sources told Reuters last year that Apple is aiming to launch an electric vehicle with advanced battery technology by 2024.

Apple declined to comment, but Anne and Volkswagen didn’t comment immediately.

When asked if Apple plans to develop batteries and screens in-house as it does with chips, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in October, “I don’t want to exclude anything.”

“It’s important to have a clear path to doing something substantially better,” he said in a conference call.

Apple talked with CATL and BYD in China over the planned battery supply for electric vehicles, saying it was almost deadlocked because the supplier refused to build a US factory for high-tech giants only. Three of them told Reuters in September.

Volkswagen outlined an ambitious plan to build six battery factories across Europe with its partners by the end of the decade. This is the key to our vision to overtake Tesla as the world leader in electric vehicles.

(Report by Hyunjoo Jin, edited by Cynthia Osterman)

Apple’s Global Battery Development Chief Moves to Volkswagen

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