Just one day after Reuters reported that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) plans to bring its self-driving electric vehicle (EV) to market by 2024, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk tweeted some history about the two tech giants.
Responding to a tweet by Brett Winton, director of research at ARK Invest about Apple’s Project Titan, Musk said that he tried to sell the company “(for 1/10 of |its| current value)…during the darkest days of the Model 3 program,” but that Apple CEO Tim Cook “refused to take the meeting.”
These “darkest days” occurred more than two years ago when Musk was lamenting that Tesla was mired in “production hell,” and scrambled to meet global demand for its Model 3 initiative due to issues related to automated production systems and severe delivery logistics problems among other things.
Musk said in November Tesla was within a month of filing for bankruptcy ahead of its Model 3 rollout. The EV maker was in such serious cash crunch that Musk was forced to put in the last of his money to keep the company from “certain death.”
Based on Tesla’s market cap – currently printing $607 billion – a buyout would have been offered to Cupertino in the $60 billion range.
Monocell, LFP Designs
According to the Reuter’s report, Apple plans to use a “monocell” battery design that allows for a greater capacity in terms of packing in active material while delivering a longer range. The iPhone maker is also reportedly studying the chemistry of a battery called LFP, or lithium iron phosphate.
Musk said it was “strange, if true” that Apple was exploring these materials for battery technology and argued a monocell design was “electrochemically impossible as maximum voltage is ~ 100X too low. Maybe they meant cells bonded together, like our structural battery pack?”.
“Tesla already uses iron-phosphate for medium range cars made in our Shanghai factory,” wrote Musk.
Meanwhile, Tesla achieved a milestone on Monday as it became the most valuable company ever admitted in the S&P 500 index. The listing came as a result of the electric carmaker’s four consecutive quarters of profitability.
As of writing, Tesla shares — up 665% year-to-date — are down $5.33, or 0.83%, to $635.
Apple shares were up 49 cents, or 0.37%, to $132.37. The name is up 79% year-to-date and up 86% year-over-year.