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VW is top candidate for Apple Car parnership, says broker Wedbush

A breakthrough by Volkswagen Group’s US battery partner could set up the German carmaker as the perfect partner for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) to enter the automotive industry. 

QuantumScape Corp (NYSE:QS), which is working with VW to try and mass produce solid-state battery cells by 2024, said overnight that it is now able to produce battery cells with multiple layers, a key development that should enable it to scale up its batteries from the lab towards mass production.

READ: ‘Holy grail’ battery breakthrough for VW partner QuantumScape to have ripple effect

With Apple active in the EV “dating game” in recent weeks and months, VW would be an attractive candidate for the iPhone maker’s transition in the auto industry, even more so thanks to this QuantumScape angle, said broker Wedbush Securities. 

Believing it is a matter of “when not if” Apple will enter the EV race over the next few years, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives gave an 85% chance that Apple will announce an EV partnership/collaboration over the next three to six months.

“We continue to strongly believe that VW is a top candidate for an Apple EV partnership/JV given the company’s modular factory footprint as well as the key QuantumScape ownership. This combination makes VW on paper a major contender for Cupertino on the EV front.”

VW’s design framework, named Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB), would allow easy integration of new models such as self-driving and autonomous vehicles, from the likes of Apple, the broker reckons.

“In addition, VM-backed QuantumScape and its solid state battery technology could be a major differentiator down the line for VW and Apple on the battery front if they decide to head down this path and QS is successful at solid state battery production for the masses by 2024.”

An Apple Car should hits the road by late 2024 if a formal EV partnership inked over the next two quarters, Ives postulated.

“We believe a successful EV initiative with the right partner could add $30+ to Apple’s SOTP analysis over the next few years given this green field opportunity still in the early days of playing out globally.”

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