BMW is willing to play ball with another automaker if it means reducing electric car battery costs.
The battery cells used in electric cars and plug-in hybrids are still currently the most expensive component those vehicles use, but spreading costs over greater production could be beneficial even if it means sharing technology. BMW purchasing boss Klaus Draeger told Autotomotive News that the company would be open to sharing with Mercedes-Benz if it wants to source batteries from BMW’s partnership with Samsung SDI.
Something like that could serve to cut production costs on the low-volume i3 and i8 models BMW just introduced. Draeger isn’t the only executive thinking that way either. Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would not seek legal action against anyone using its patented technology, saying it had removed the patents “in the spirit of the open source movement for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.”
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Tesla sources the batteries for its cars from Panasonic and is currently working toward building its “Gigafactory” to build more lithium ion cells to break down a key barrier to its smaller, less expensive car.
BMW is increasing production of the i3. Through the first half of the year, it reports having sold 5,396 of the carbon fiber reinforced plastic bodied cars. In April, the company raised its production rate to 100 cars per day and it plans to increase that by another 40 percent by the end of the summer.
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[Source: Automotive News]