Apple, Hyundai set to agree electric car tie-up

Apple is set to sign a deal in March with South Korean carmaker Hyundai to make electric cars.

That's according to a report on Sunday in the local paper Korea IT news.

It says that the companies will aim to start production of the vehicles in the U.S. by 2024 and will release a 'beta version' next year.

The report follows Hyundai's statement on Friday that they were in early talks with Apple.

It led to huge investor excitement, with shares in the carmaker up nearly 20 percent on Friday.

Apple had no immediate comment.

Reuters reported last month that the iPhone maker hoped to begin selling electric vehicles, featuring its own battery technology, as soon as 2024.

Apple's ambitions will be seen as a threat to Tesla, the world's highest-valued automaker, and established players such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors.

Last week, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk replaced Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world.