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Apple speeds up electric-car effort, sees 2019 shipments: WSJ, citing sources

Apple has put more weight behind its electric car efforts and has set a target shipment date of 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing sources.

The tech giant has called the car initiative, named "Titan" within the company, a "committed project" and has met with California officials in determining the feasibility of an Apple car, according to the report. The outlet reports the employees spearheading the 600-person project have been given permission to triple the number of people working on it.

It marks the latest in a string of reports suggesting Apple could look to compete in the automotive industry. The Journal said the 2019 target date is far from concrete, as the company would still need to refine features and clear regulatory and production barriers.

Apple speeds up electric-car effort.
Getty Images
Apple speeds up electric-car effort.

Apple would look to apply its battery, software and hardware production experience from its range of devices to churning out cars. Under the reported timeline, the company would come into the electric car market much later than many of its established would-be competitors.

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The segment has also come under pressure in the last year amid a sustained low oil price environment. West Texas Intermediate crude prices have fallen nearly 50 percent in the last year.

Apple declined to comment to CNBC.

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Apple shares were trading about 1 percent higher Monday afternoon. Shares of electric automaker Tesla Motors, which were trading higher earlier Monday, turned negative after the report.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.