In a move that mirrors a decision recently made by Tesla to openly share its patents, BMW is also prepared to reveal its battery technology secrets to its rivals.
The German automaker, which just announced it would move to increase its orders for battery cells for cars from its exclusive South Korean Samsung SDI supplier by 2016, is also mulling further economies of scale for the advancement of the electric car segment.
According to BMW purchasing chief Klaus Draeger, the luxury carmaker wants to share the technology it co-developed together with Samsung SDI to further cut the cost of the battery cells – which are the priciest component in a plug-in hybrid or full-electric vehicle.
“If Mercedes called us, we would be happy to find a way with Samsung SDI to supply them with battery cells,” said Draeger.
BMW and Samsung SDI – which is part of South Korea’s biggest company – started working on the development of Lithium-Ion battery cells for car use in 2009. The latter also supplies cells to Chrysler in the US to be used in the California only Fiat 500e and to Ferrari for its top of the range hybrid LaFerrari supercar.
Samsung SDI – which also sells batteries to Apple, aims to further expand its automotive division to better compete with rivals like LG Chem – which works with Renault; and Panasonic – which works with Tesla.
Via Automotive News Europe