Tesla Motors Incs CEO Elon Musk told the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel that the electric car manufacturer is negotiating with BMW over a probable co-operation in batteries and lightweight components.
In an interview published on Sunday, Mr. Musk said that the two companies have engaged in talks about a potential collaboration in developing battery and charger station technology, boosting the advancement power in electric vehicles. Mr. Musk also said that he finds BMWs practice to reinforce car body parts with carbon fiber interesting and relatively cost efficient.
BMWs technology to use carbon fiber for the chassis construction of its i3 five-door urban electric car and its i8 plug-in hybrid sport vehicle, provides lower overall weight and thus increases per-charge traveling range of the automobiles.
The German car manufacturer went into a joint venture with materials provider SGL in order to ensure deliveries of the needed carbon fiber. In September 2011, the $100 million fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake opened for the first time and started production of the ultra light-weight carbon fiber reinforced plastics used in BMW i series.
An official representative for Tesla later explained that the discussions were informal. The conversation between Elon Musk and BMW has been a casual conversation, and not about a formal cooperation spokeswoman Kathrin Schira said.
No additional information was provided around the specifics of a possible co-operation between the two companies. However, earlier this year BMW and Tesla executives held a discussion about manufacturing charging stations, which service a variety of electric vehicle types. Mr. Musk also mentioned that within five to six year he expects Tesla to own a battery production plant in Germany.
Mr. Musk said Tesla will continue to work with Daimler, owner of Mercedes, despite the recent sell-off of its 4% share in the US company. The CEO also commented on Toyotas decision to switch vehicle technology and pointed out that fuel-cell cars consume three times more power compared to a battery-powered vehicle.
BMW declined to comment on the matter.
Source: Binary Tribune
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