With Toyota and Daimler already involved, why not bring BMW into the mix?
That's apparently what Tesla Motors is trying to do now, as both Tesla and BMW have confirmed that a meeting took place between the automaker on Wednesday June 11.
BMW issued this purposely vague statement on the matter:
"Both companies are strongly committed to the success of electromobility and discussed how to further strengthen the development of electromobility on an international level."
Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the news of the meeting public on Thursday in a conference call in which he discussed Tesla open sourcing its patents. Here's what Musk stated on the call:
"For high-speed charging in particular, I think that’s a great area for commonality among manufacturers. In fact, the team from BMW was visiting Tesla last night. We talked about potential ways to collaborate, and one of them was on the Supercharging network. We’re more than happy to have other manufacturers use our Supercharging network and / or to build superchargers and install them, and then maybe have some sort of cross-use agreement."
According to Forbes, Musk explained the purpose of the meeting as follows:
"He said that Tesla was meeting with BMW as recently as yesterday to discuss various matters, and the idea of opening technology was already on the table. Tesla has mentioned from the beginning that its high-speed Supercharger network would be available to other car companies so long as they built compatible cars and paid a “reasonable cost share, proportionate to usage” of the network."
"Musk suggested it might even be possible for BMW or another carmaker to construct their own compatible network of chargers and the companies could share them under an agreement. In addition, he suggested BMW build its own giant battery Gigafactory, as Tesla is doing to help push its own costs down."
Per Automotive News:
"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."
Could The Meeting Have Been Something Supercharger Related?
Here how Reuters reports on the "secret" meeting that's no longer secret:
"Executives from German carmaker BMW and U.S.-based Tesla Motors Inc met this week in a move which could lead to the creation of charging stations usable for different types of electric cars."
"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."
As we all know, BMW supports the CCS fast-charging standard, which is supported by approximately one dozen chargers in the US. Meanwhile, Tesla's fast-charging standard is Superchargers (nearly 100 in the US). BMW i3 owners, in general, are eagerly awaiting a CCS rollout in the US. However, this rollout is describe as being "painfully slow" and "taking forever" by more than one i3 owner, so a tie-up with Tesla on this front would be well received from the community of BMW electric owners, provided that some functionality could be added to existing BMW EVs.
CCS Is Rather Common In Europe, But Largely Non-Existent In the US