BMW and electric carmaker Tesla are seeking ways to raise the
popularity of battery-powered vehicles, which consumers have shunned
due to their limited operating range, the scarcity of charging
stations and the time it takes to recharge them.
"Both companies are strongly committed to the success of
electro-mobility and discussed how to further strengthen the
development of electro-mobility on an international level," a BMW
spokesman said in a statement on Friday.
BMW said the meeting had taken place on Wednesday but declined to
comment in detail about the nature of the talks, or about which BMW
executives had met with Tesla.
In a conference call on Thursday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk
said there had been talks with BMW about how to promote the use of
electric vehicles and how to make better use of Tesla's network of
Carmakers including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler,
Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting a common SAE
combo standard for fast-charging connectors.
Fast-charging stations allow electric vehicle owners to recharge
batteries up to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.
Today, the Chevrolet Spark and the BMW i3 for example can use the
same battery recharging stations.
Tesla has, however, developed its own network of high-speed charging
stations including along key autobahn routes in Germany in an effort
to make electric cars viable for long-distance commuting.
Tesla's charger system can be fitted with an adapter that allows its
cars, including the Tesla Model S, to be recharged on both the SAE
chargers and its own system.
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Tesla also said on Thursday that it would allow others to make use
of its intellectual property in the hope of speeding up development
of electric cars by all manufacturers.
Musk said this included all of Tesla's patents, including several
hundred current ones and several thousand in the future.
German premium auto makers have been keen to collaborate with Tesla.
In January, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the German
maker of Mercedes-Benz cars was open to deepening its partnership
with the U.S. firm.
Daimler holds a 4.3 percent stake in Tesla, which is already
supplying it with electric motors and batteries for its Smart Fortwo
electric vehicle (EV) and the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class EV.
(Editing by Jonathan Gould and Mark Heinrich)
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