Apple Car engineer leaves company for electric aviation startup

Apple Park photo of the side of the main building
Apple Park photo of the side of the main building (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Another former Tesla engineer has left Apple.
  • Michael Schwekutsch has left the company for Archer, a new electric aviation startup.

Another Apple Car engineer has decided to leave the company for a startup.

As reported by CNBC, Michael Schwekutsch, a director of engineering on the Apple Car project, has left the company. According to the report, the executive has joined Archer, an electric air taxi start-up, as its senior Vice President of Engineering.

Archer is working on electric-powered air taxis that take off and land vertically. Like competitors Lilium and Joby Aviation, Archer aims to transport passengers on short trips, avoiding traffic on the ground and the noise and emissions generated by traditional fuel-burning aircraft and cars.It's already developed a model known as the Maker that can carry one passenger and a pilot, and is working on a four-passenger model. The company aims to operate urban air mobility services starting in Los Angeles once its aircraft are cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration for commercial use.

In a note to investors on Wednesday, Morgan Stanley analysts Katy L. Huberty and Adam Jonas expressed how worried Tesla is about the eventual entrance of the Apple Car into the electric vehicle market.

Jonas wrote, "One of the things that we think drives Elon Musk and the Tesla's mission isn't 'can we make a better EV than Volkswagen' or something." Instead, he said, Tesla is motivated to gain every competitive advantage it can before Apple makes its move. "That fear of Apple potentially turning Tesla into a BlackBerry is one of the things that we think is motivating Tesla and their mission," he said.

The Apple Car project has been a revolving door of engineers for years now. It seems that every time news breaks of Apple hiring an engineer for the project, another is leaving the company. Just at the beginning of November, news broke that the company hired a former engineer at Tesla.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.