Will Apple Challenge Tesla in the Electric Car Market?
Apple has been leading the way towards a renewable energy future for many years. Just last week the company announced it will partner with First Solar to build a 280-megawatt solar energy farm in Monterey, California. With Tesla moving beyond the auto industry into renewable energy generation in its partnership with SolarCity, it's not surprising that Apple is branching out, too.
Apple reportedly has a team of about 100 engineers developing an electric car. The project, codenamed Titan, is seen as a logical next step for the tech giant. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said electric cars "are the future" and this year's International Auto Show saw a significant increase in electric vehicles on display.
The move would put Apple in competition with automakers like Tesla and Chevrolet, which just announced last week that it will produce its next-generation electric vehicle. Volkswagen bought last week fuel cell technology from Ballard Power Systems, as it ramps up its plans to market a hydrogen vehicle.
Apple CEO Tim Cook approved the project a year ago and appointed Steve Zadesky, vice president of product design, to lead the team. Zadesky, who is a former Ford engineer, seems like a natural choice. The Titan team is said to be comprised of several people who have experience in vehicle design, including Marc Newson, who designed a concept car for Ford, according to Dezeen.
It's possible Apple will not develop the product to market (the company often does research and development into products it will never sell), but it makes sense that they would be working on one. "Many technologies used in an electric car, such as advanced batteries and in-car electronics, could be useful to other Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad," said the Wall Street Journal.
Based on the number of people working on the project and the fact that Apple executives flew to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers for high-end cars, it appears the company is serious about the project. Apple would not be the first tech giant to develop a vehicle. Google has been working on an autonomous all-electric vehicle for several years.
Musk has lamented how expensive it is to develop and manufacture a car. Luckily for Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Google, they have the capital. Apple reported holding $178 billion in cash as of Dec. 27, 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. The zero-emissions vehicle market is rapidly expanding. No matter who ends up developing the first mass-produced electric vehicle, the more companies working on it the better, especially tech giants like Apple and Google.
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Hundreds of endangered sea turtles were stranded on beaches after suffering "cold stunning" in the waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Local rescuers and wildlife rehabilitators stabilized the turtles at the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and National Marine Life Center and began treatment. Many of the sea turtles were transported by land or air to partner facilities around the Eastern Seaboard for longer-term care to make room for more incoming, cold-stunned animals.
Rehabilitators at The Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys assess critically endangered, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles flown in after rescue in New England. The Turtle Hospital<p>NEAQ and local rescuers begin seeing turtles every fall when water temperatures drop to that 50 degrees F threshold, and typically expect to find them into early January. After that, <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/sea-turtle-cape-cod-weather-2621527394.html" target="_self">temperatures are so cold that any animals found are usually no longer alive</a>.</p><p>Merigo estimated that this year's cold season "looks very busy" and noted that local rescue efforts had already surpassed 400 turtles.</p><p>"It is a lot of animals. They're still coming in," she told EcoWatch as she surveyed 39 rescued turtles that day and 20 the day prior. "So far, this is a huge year."</p><p>At NEAQ, the turtles are gradually warmed up about five to 10 degrees F a day. More aggressive warming can cause serious damage and the turtle might not survive, Merigo said. Emergency treatments also include providing replacement fluids, balancing electrolytes and addressing pneumonia. Assessments take place for other serious problems too, such as shell or limb fractures, frostbite, emaciation and eye damage.<span></span></p><p>As local aquariums don't have the capacity to care for all the injured turtles, a group of private pilots called <a href="https://www.turtlesflytoo.org/" target="_blank">"Turtles Fly Too"</a> donated planes, fuel and time to transport some to various partner facilities around the country. Other turtles were driven to closer care facilities.</p><p>"We have a huge network of really great partners working with us, so if we can spread out the care, we can give better care to all the animals," Merigo said.</p><p>The 40 Kemp's ridley sea turtles recovering in The Turtle Hospital will continue to be treated and rehabilitated anywhere from 30 days to a year, depending on the severity of injuries, Zirkelbach said.</p><p>The turtle expert noted that while she's treated cold-stunned turtles from the north before, the newest arrivals were the most cold-stunned Kemp's ridleys ever received at one time.</p>
After rescue, cold-stunned sea turtles received immediate emergency care and assessments at the New England Aquarium. Caitlin Cunningham / New England Aquarium<p>In the past decade, the Gulf of Maine, which spans from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia, has warmed 99 percent faster than the rest of the ocean, Zirkelbach said. The warm water encourages turtles that migrate north along the Gulf Stream in warmer months to stay in the bay longer.</p><p>"Turtles that fail to migrate south get stuck in the unique horseshoe-shaped topography of the Cape Cod peninsula, and when temperatures drop, the bay becomes a death trap," she added.</p><p>Before ocean temperatures warmed, the waters of Maine were too cold for many of these sea turtles, Merigo echoed. Now, with warming sea surface temperatures, Maine can reach the high 70s to low 80s, which is "perfect turtle temperature," she said. The potential for more turtles getting trapped in the bay and then cold-stunned is nerve-racking for Merigo.</p><p>In addition to shifting habitats as waters warm, warming global temperatures also disrupt natural gender balance in sea turtles, Merigo warned. Gender is determined by the temperature of eggs in nests, and as the planet warms, it will result in all females at some point, she said.</p><p>"The turtles we work with are all endangered and threatened," Merigo said. "For sea turtles in general, the future is a little grim. Climate change is real; it does impact them."</p>
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