Morgan Stanley analysts think Apple’s self-driving EV ‘must be a shared service and not an owned car’

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A report from Bloomberg yesterday indicated that Apple is accelerating its plans to release a self-driving EV by 2025. Following that report, analysts at Morgan Stanley are out with a new investor note detailing how an Apple Car could impact Apple’s industry, as well as the car industry as a whole.

Corroborating the Bloomberg report, analysts at Morgan Stanley say that it remains a “working assumption that Apple will, one day, enter the electric shared-autonomy space in transportation.” When this day comes, the “implications for the auto industry” would be “significant.”

Yesterday’s Bloomberg report indicated that Apple’s ideal outcome is that the Apple Car “would have no steering wheel and pedals.” Instead, it would be designed for complete autonomy. While it’s unclear whether Apple would be able to achieve this with its 2025 timeline, Morgan Stanley analysts say that a car without a steering wheels or pedals “must be a shared service and not an owned car.”

The analyst report explains that Tesla’s success in the industry has likely “accelerated consideration of many competing interests in e-mobility and autonomy,” including Apple.

Additionally, Morgan Stanley analysts believe that fully autonomous vehicle sales will hit 100,000 units by 2025, but the majority of those shipments would be “outside of the United States” due to regulatory issues. The note explains:

We forecast global miles traveled to grow to 15 trillion miles by 2030 (vs. 12tn today), 20 trillion miles by 2040 and 29tn by 2050. Assuming a value per mile of anything above $0.50/mile suggests a multi deca-trillion TAM longer term. In addition to the direct monetary value for transport services, the amount of time humanity spends in cars is very significant. On our calculations, humans (driver + passenger) spend more than 600bn hours in cars every year… equivalent to 68 million human hours inside cars per year. 

Ultimately, Morgan Stanley concludes that it views a “potential entry by Apple into the autonomous e-mobility market as a clear negative.” But of course, the key thing to keep in mind is that Apple’s plans for its Apple Car very well could shift depending on development progress.

You can find our full coverage of yesterday’s Bloomberg report right here.

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