It seems that devotees of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and/or electric vehicles (EVs) looking forward to the long-rumored Apple Car will have to temper their enthusiasm. A report published Thursday by Bloomberg cited "people with knowledge of the efforts" as saying that the company will require a minimum of five years to launch such a vehicle.

According to these reports, Apple has only a small group of hardware engineers designing the hardware and drive systems that will comprise the company's first automobile. While Apple has added talent to this team, in the best case it would only have a product ready in five to seven years. At the moment, however, the project is not even close to the manufacturing stage.

Woman keeping her hands off the steering wheel of a self-driving car.

Image source: Getty Images.

As per its habit, Apple has been tight-lipped about what is apparently titled Project Titan, saying almost nothing about its scope or goals. An article published by Reuters last month, citing those ever-talkative "people familiar with the matter," had it that the company wanted to roll out its first automobile, which would be a self-driving electric vehicle (EV), by 2024.

Project Titan's roots go fairly deep for a self-driving EV project. The company's effort began in 2014, but since then has proceeded in fits and starts.

Apple's stock ended the week by rising 0.9% on Friday, eking past the gains of the S&P 500 index on the day.

 
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.