According to The Economic Daily News (Google translation), Taiwanese vehicle component manufacturers have been notified of Apple's parts requirements for a forthcoming product to be released in September 2021.
Whether that time frame is realistic is a matter for conjecture, but it has led to questions from some quarters about the veracity of the reports.
Apple's electric car project is thought to date back to at least 2014, and according to Wired, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged in 2017 that the company was working on autonomous car technology.
Scores of self-driving cars are believed to have been registered by Apple, but they have been modified vehicles originally built by other manufacturers, such as the Lexus that was involved in a low-speed collision in 2018.
In the same year, a former Apple employee was charged with stealing trade secrets relating to the program.
Over time there has been speculation about whether the 'Apple Car' will be a complete vehicle, or a set of technologies that will be incorporated into other vendors' products. After all, the introduction of the Apple TV was preceded by rumours that Apple was developing an actual TV set as opposed to a smart box that connects to existing TVs.
If you're interested in the history of Apple's electric vehicle project, try this AppleInsider article.