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BMW Willing to Share Battery Technology with Its Rivals

BMW and Samsung SDI signed a memorandum on Monday that has the South Korean company increase the supply of batteries to the German company by 20 to 30 percent by 2016. At the event, BMW’s purchasing boss, Klaus Draeger said that working with the company’s rivals would benefit every one.
BMW Battery Pack 1 photo
In a daring move, the BMW official stated that a collaboration with long-time rivals from Mercedes-Benz wouldn’t be ruled out by default but actually welcome. The only problem is, who makes the first step.

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

Sharing such technologies helps drive its cost down on the long run. Since the batteries are currently the most expensive part of an electric vehicle (making up to 30 or 40 percent of the total price), reducing the costs in this particular department would make the biggest changes.

BMW and Samsung started working together on developing new batteries back in 2009, around the same time the Bavarians unveiled the VISION concept that would become the i8 we know today.

At the same time, the Koreans are also working with other car makers around the world, including Chrysler and Ferrari for the LaFerrari model.

Moving even further into the future and disbarring conventional batteries, fuel-cell seems to be another interesting option that BMW is working on right now. Draeger even admitted that the current setup does have its problems, the biggest one being range anxiety.

"This is why the whole industry is still looking very much at fuel cells because it is not clear what is also happening on the side of the electric infrastructure," he said for Automotive News Europe.

Of course, that’s why they are working closely with Toyota at the moment, the Japanese company being one of the most advanced in the business at the moment. A variety of rumors are also claiming that this collaboration will spawn a whole new range of models in the near future but no official confirmation of them ever came.


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