• A123 Systems employee works on a battery pack

A123 Systems employee works on a battery pack (Photo : A123 Systems)

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, battery maker A123 Systems accused Apple of poaching its engineers.

This latest update on the Cupertino firm fuels rumors of it building its own electric, self-driving car, a project codenamed "Titan."

According to the lawsuit, Apple started aggressively poaching A123's engineers around June last year, according to Reuters. These engineers are said to have been tasked with leading some of the battery maker's most critical projects.

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Such were the caliber of these engineers that when they left A123, the projects they were handling had to be stopped or abandoned. The maker of lithium ion batteries, however, didn't specifically mention what projects these engineers were working on.

A123 further accuses Apple of developing a large-scale battery division. This division will supposedly compete with the battery maker.

Rumors of Apple developing its own car have been in the headlines recently. This update is the latest among a string of reports of the tech giant poaching engineers from Tesla, Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

All these poaching reports of people with deep expertise in car systems seem to point to one thing: Apple is building or is going to build its own car. An auto industry source who talked with Reuters last week confirms the iPhone maker is also talking with automakers and industry experts to learn more about how to make its own electric car.

Apple Insider notes A123 is known for its large lithium-ion batteries used to power futuristic high-performance electric vehicles, such as the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3, an electric land speed racing car; the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.

"Batteries, of course, are a core part of almost all of Apple's products, including the iPhone, iPad, and its MacBook lineup," Apple Insider explains. "So it would come as no surprise that Apple is interested in hiring engineers experienced in advanced battery technology."