Apple said to hire Tesla engineer to head car project
NEW YORK -- Apple hired former Tesla Motors vice president of vehicle engineering Chris Porritt to work on special projects related to the tech giant’s electric car initiative, website Electrek reported, without saying where it got the information.
Porritt would become Apple’s most senior “car guy” and a likely candidate to lead the company’s secretive electric vehicle project code-named Titan, according to online technology website Electrek and its sister publication 9to5Mac.
Porritt would replace Steve Zadesky, the executive who had been leading Apple’s car initiative but who was reported in January to be leaving the company.
While Apple has never confirmed it is developing a car, the iPhone maker has been building a team, including recruiting engineers and experts in battery and robotics technology, to work on the project.
Aston Martin influence
Porritt previously worked at Land Rover and was chief engineer at Aston Martin, where he was credited with making some of that company’s most iconic vehicles in recent years, including the One-77 supercar, the V12 Zagato and Aston Martin DB9.
Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, is said to have a weak spot for Aston Martins and reportedly owned a few models, Electrek reported.
At Tesla, Porritt reportedly worked on both the Model S and X platforms, as well as the Model 3 chassis, according to Electrek.
Senior Apple engineers who will report to Porritt include Product Development Engineering Director Albert Golko and engineer Emery Sanford, according to the website.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the hire.