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Apple is researching how to charge electric cars

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A Chargepoint EV charging station

Apple is exploring methods to charge electric cars, according to Reuters, adding more credence to ongoing reports that Apple is developing an electric car. The report says Apple "appears to be laying the groundwork for the infrastructure" related to electric car operations.

Reuters says Apple has reached out to charging station companies to discuss their "underlying technology," and that Apple is focused on car development, not just implementing charging stations for its employees. The charging station companies are said to be wary of sharing too much information with a potential rival.

The report is short on concrete details — typical of rumors surrounding Apple — but according to LinkedIn profiles, the company has been hiring engineers with experience in vehicle charging.

Apple's car rumors have been roaring for more than a year, boosted by reports from major publications and hints dropped by Apple executives as analysts and Apple watchers desperately try to read the tea leaves. The company has also been aggressively hiring employees with wide varieties of automotive experience.

The company has dramatically increased its research and development budget over the past several years, suggesting that something big could be coming. But, knowing Apple, it's also possible that the entire car endeavor will be killed before it ever gets to market. In any event, we are likely several years at least from seeing an Apple car in public form.