"Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought," Zetsche told the paper.
Zetsche and his team met without around 70 companies while in Silicon Valley, including startups.
"There were concrete talks. I will not say anything about the content. It was not just about the fact that there is an innovative spirit in the Valley. We know that already. We wanted to see what drives it, and all the things that can be created from it," Zetsche said.
Apple's work on an electric car is considered an 'open secret'. Reports say the company is committed to the project with a target ship date of 2019.
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