BMW To Follow Tesla In Sharing EV Battery Tech: Report Photo:
Trevor Collett | Jul, 16 2014 | 0 Comments

BMW is reportedly open to the idea of sharing technology from its electric vehicles with other carmakers to accelerate development and lower costs.

Speaking with industry paper Automotive News, BMW purchasing boss Klaus Draeger specifically pointed to the EV’s battery technology, which the carmaker has do-developed with electrics giant Samsung.

Mr Draeger said the battery was currently the car’s most expensive component, and sharing the costs of development and production with other carmakers (possibly fellow German carmakers) would make economic sense.

"If Mercedes called us, we would be happy to find a way with Samsung SDI to supply them with battery cells," Mr Draeger said.

Failing a phone call from Mercedes-Benz or any other carmaker, BMW may be able to reduce the cost of the Samsung batteries on its own, with plans to increase orders by at least 20-30 percent between 2014 and 2016.

The current Samsung deal supplies batteries for BMW’s i3 and i8 models, along with future supply for the X5 plug-in hybrid which may be joined by an X3 plug-in hybrid in the future.

Last month, Tesla arguably got the wheels rolling on future EV development by throwing out an open invitation for other carmakers to use its patents.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology”, and BMW were reportedly among the first carmakers to enter into talks with Musk.

The current battery-supply circus for EVs is a bit of a free-for-all, with LG supplying Renault and Panasonic supplying Tesla, while Samsung supplies BMW, Chrysler and Ferrari.

While keeping one eye on future EV development, Mr Draeger said BMW was very much aware the industry was looking further afield to hydrogen fuel cells due to reduce ‘range anxiety’.

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