Morgan Stanley: Apple, Google to lead the electric car race

In a note to clients Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty — as noted by FORTUNE — says Apple and Google are expected to lead the electric car race.

“As component suppliers look for the next growth engine,” she writes, “They’re shifting focus to autos, engaging both existing brands and potential new entrants. Suppliers see many opportunities to leverage smartphone expertise such as in cameras, sensors, batteries, and displays. Given the changing supply chain as the industry transitions to electric from transmission powered vehicles and eventually to autonomous, we see the opportunity for technology vendors, including Google and Apple, to dominate. Component suppliers see new wearables categories like head mounted displays, as further away than the auto opportunity.”

The Wall Street Journal says Apple’s car project is code-named “Titan.” The article says Steve Zadesky, Apple’s vice president of iPhone/iPod Design has been put in charge of the project, and that he’s assembling a 1,000 member team.

Bloomberg Business claims that Apple, “which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020.” 9to5Mac has compiled a list of automotive experts hired by Apple and says “it’s clear Apple’s ambitions go well beyond just its iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system.” BGR notes any “Applemobile” will likely be an electric car of some kind, especially given Apple CEO Tim Cook’s dedication to expanding the use of greener energy.

In June, The Register said that Apple said that though Apple wants to compete directly with Google in the car space, “whether the mystery project is a full Apple-branded car or just an Apple OS built into a car from another automaker remains to be seen.” USA Today says that we shouldn’t expect a full-fledged car, but perhaps a dashboard or some other sort of embedded model, and I tend to agree).