BMW denied accusations that it had hired engineers to get information on a rival’s vehicle-sharing service in France.
Earlier this week Bollore filed a complaint in Paris after engineers working for a company contracted by BMW were detained and questioned by police on September 5th in Paris. The two technicians have been suspected of industrial espionage against Bollore’s Autolib’ car-sharing scheme.
“We don’t know for now what information they gathered and what technologies they used … All we can say is that [Bollore] has a headstart on several technologies in which we have invested a lot of money, including the battery and geolocation systems,” an Autolib’ spokesman told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.
The two technicians have been spotted several times with computer equipment around the EV charging stations in Paris. The two work for the P3 group, which is an engineering company contracted by BMW to help prepare the car maker for the launch of its i3 EV.
“Within the scope of the impending market launch of the BMW i3, BMW conducted tests throughout Europe to assess the compatibility of BMW electric vehicles with the publicly accessible charging stations of the various providers. These tests serve solely to identify the infrastructure of those operators with whom electric vehicles can be charged in future,” BMW said in a statement.