Apple Reportedly Hires Tesla’s Former VP of Vehicle Engineering For Skunkworks EV Project

The comings and goings at Tesla Motors and Apple with respect to personnel are being closely watched by the tech and auto industries as the former is the most high-profile electric vehicle manufacturer on the planet, while the latter is widely rumored to be working on its own EV. Further fueling those rumors of an Apple Car is today’s report that the the Cupertino, California-based gadget company has hired Chris Porritt, Tesla’s former Vice President of Vehicle Engineering.

Before arriving at Tesla in May 2013, Porritt spent 16 years at Aston Martin as the company’s chief engineer. While there, he oversaw the development of vehicles like the entry-level (for Aston Martin) V8 Vantage and the One-77 supercar. At Tesla, however, Porritt was instrumental in the ongoing development of the Model S and Model X. It is unknown how much time and energy he had invested in the upcoming Model 3, as he left the Tesla nearly a year ago.

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Aston Martin One-77

In fact, Porritt over the past three years has had unprecedented access to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, having stated in September 2015 interview that he and Musk would get together “three or four times a week and we’re absolutely on the same page, there’s no ambiguity.”

Porritt also described the culture at Tesla Motors, explaining, “Because Tesla embraces people from such a variety of backgrounds, we do apply methods and techniques you’d see in traditional automotive companies – but also ones you’d see from a Silicon Valley culture, such as Apple, Microsoft and Google, whoever... I’ve never been in a place where everybody is so clever.”

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Refreshed Tesla Model S

According to eletrek, the publication that broke the news, Porritt will take on a new role at Apple as the Special Projects Group PD Administrator. Given his background and his most recent employer, it can be easily inferred that whatever Apple is working on it likely has four wheels and will be powered by batteries and electric motors.

Interestingly enough, Musk has referred to Apple as the Tesla Graveyard and added “If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.” Musk would later clarify those comments on Twitter, conceding, “Yo, I don't hate Apple. It's a great company with a lot of talented people. I love their products and I'm glad they're doing an EV.”