Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he wanted to sell Tesla to Apple during the “darkest days” of the Model 3 launch, but CEO Tim Cook “refused” to take up the meeting.
Musk discussed the offer in response to a tweet about how Apple has reportedly revived its desire to build and sell electric and autonomous vehicles. He noted that Tesla is worth about a tenth of what it is now, as the electric vehicle company completed an incredible year in which skyrocketing share prices turned it into the most valuable carmaker on the planet. Of course, in 2017, Tesla was still pouring money and not producing high-volume electric vehicles.
Musk previously said that Tesla was “single-digit weeks” away from crashing in 2017 because he directed all of the company’s resources to increase the production of the Model 3 sedans. Tesla ultimately survived and has since gone on to roll out the Model Y SUV and announce new vehicles like the Cybertruck.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple has spent the last half-decade tinkering with its way into the world of electric and self-driving cars, but until this week, thought to be focused on developing software and other technology that it could sell to other companies. But on Monday, Reuters reported that the Silicon Valley giant had retrained its focus on making electric and autonomous cars for the general consumer.
One of the reasons Apple is reportedly changing course again is that it has made progress in potential breakthroughs related to batteries. According to Reuters, Apple has developed a lithium iron phosphate battery that can be packed more tightly in a car’s battery pack, reducing weight while increasing potential energy density.
Musk pointed out on Twitter on Tuesday that Tesla is already using iron phosphate batteries in some of the cars it’s making in China.
“Strange, if true,” he wrote.
- Elon Musk says he has moved to Texas
- Tesla Camp Mode: Everything You Need To Know
- New Tesla Cybertruck Killer Comes With 500 Mile Range
- Five ways for Elon Musk to combine his companies
Tesla and Apple have swapped many talents over the past decade. When rumors of the “Apple car” first surfaced in 2015, Musk joked that Apple was “Tesla graveyard.”
“If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding,” he said.
Musk said at the time that electric cars were “the next logical thing” for Cook and Apple to work on.
“It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches,” Elon Musk said.