Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA) and Apple Inc. ( AAPL) met nearly a year ago to talk about something, but it seems unlikely that a partnership in Tesla’s gigafactory is the answer, as some have suggested. While both need a lot of batteries, 9to5 Mac posted a video in which Tesla CEO Elon Musk is actually talking with a hardware engineer who worked on the iPhone and explains the differences between the technologies they each use.
Tesla’s batteries differ in size from Apple’s
One of the main differences between the batteries used by the two companies is the size. Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA)’s AA batteries are actually about 4 millimeters wider and 15 millimeters longer than the standard AA batteries you put in various electronic gadgets throughout your home. The automaker tightly packs the batteries into one unit so that they are very energy dense while also being rather inexpensive. Tesla said it plans to stick with that form factor for now. The batteries Apple Inc. ( AAPL) uses for its devices are very thin—much thinner than the 18 millimeter width of Tesla’s AA batteries. For example, the iPhone 5S itself is 7.6 millimeters wide, which makes the entire device much smaller than Tesla’s batteries.
What Tesla may be looking for in a partner
In terms of the gigafactory, Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA) probably has a very specific list about which companies would be good candidates. The automaker has already named Panasonic as a likely candidate, which means sense because the company has been making its batteries for quite some time. Although no official candidates have been mentioned, Toyota Motor Corp ( TM) TYO:7203 could be one because the Japanese automaker invested in Tesla in the early days and, in fact, has used some of the company’s technology in its Rav4. Other potential partners which would make more sense than Apple Inc. ( AAPL) as a gigafactory would include any company which uses the same size and type of batteries which Tesla Motors Inc ( TSLA) does.