Is BMW buying a stake in Tesla?

BMW i | October 23rd, 2014 by 14
2014 bmw i8 tesla model s front end in motion 750x500

Daimler is selling its stake in the premium electric car maker Tesla. Mercedes parent Daimler sold its four per cent stake in Tesla Motors and …

Daimler is selling its stake in the premium electric car maker Tesla. Mercedes parent Daimler sold its four per cent stake in Tesla Motors and pocketed a $780 million profit. Daimler announced the sale but not the end of their cooperation.

Tesla supplies electric motors and batteries for the Smart ForTwo electric vehicle and the Mercedes B-class electric car.

Forbes published an article today hinting at the fact that BMW might be interested to purchase a stake in Tesla as well. The two companies have been in talks recently and visited each other to discuss future collaborations and the state of electric cars.

bmw i3 vs tesla s 750x750

Earlier this year Tesla said it would allow competitor car companies to share its patents, in the hope this would stimulate the overall market for electric cars.

Tesla would be interested to partner with BMW to gain access to the carbon fiber production and technology, an essential lightweight material in construction of light electric cars. In exchange, BMW would benefit from Tesla’s battery technology and its future production at the California┬áNevada plant.

READ ALSO: BMW and Tesla Taking Different Approaches, But Will Ultimately Face Off

While these are simply rumors and speculations at the time, things could change in the future, considering how much BMW and Tesla need each other, at least for now when they don’t compete head-to-head in the electric car segment.

14 responses to “Is BMW buying a stake in Tesla?”

  1. mckillio says:

    Seems pretty logical to me, Tesla needs to lose weight and BMW needs better battery tech for longer driving ranges.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      It is and in some conversations with BMW executives, off the record, I was given the impression the two companies talk to each other more than we know.

    • meh says:

      BMWs battery tech is fine, as well as every other battery used in other EVs from other manufacturers. There’s nothing special about the Panasonic batteries. Yes, they’re higher density and cost more, but that’s something the customer (Tesla, BMW, Ford, etc) would specify to the supplier (Panasonic, LG, Samsung, etc). If every manufacturers did this all EVs would be priced in Tesla territory. Tesla took the risk that wealthy people with disposable income would pony up, and they were right. All others are focusing on keeping costs down to allow for mainstream adoption. Two different paths to EV adoption.

      It’s more likely that the discussion involves the use of SuperCharger stations and other DCQC infrastructure, sharing between the manufacturers. There’s really nothing else Tesla has to offer to any of its competitors. Anyone with a technical background will laugh and tell you Musk’s “open patent” thing was a marketing gimmick. There’s nothing useful contained in technical patents these days, most are barely better than ink blobs on the back of a napkin that vaguely reference some form of an idea. Tesla (and others) would definitely want BMWs new manufacturing techniques for carbon fiber molding and assembly. Low cost, mass production? That’s nearly as revolutionary to the auto manufacturing industry as the first Model T assembly line.

      Hopefully BMW is careful. Those in the tech circles know Musk is pretty well known for “partnering” or poaching staff to steal tech and ditching at first possible opportunity.

      • WeaponZero says:

        You are wrong on a few counts. There is something special about the Panasonic batteries. The batteries Panasonic makes for Tesla are custom built batteries based on Tesla’s specifications. They contain technology from both Tesla and Panasonic.

        It is not as simple as specifying with the supplier. To give you a breakdown. BMW uses Samsung batteries. Tesla was looking at dual sourcing their batteries. Unfortunately Samsung did not have the technology to produce the Tesla batteries. Though Tesla did sign on Samsung as a secondary supplier and is most likely getting them up to speed on how to produce the high energy density Tesla batteries.

        If every manufacturer tried to make a longer range EV with more range, it would cost WAY more than in Tesla Model S territory.

        Take the Mercedes SLS AMG electric. It has the same battery size as the Tesla Model S base model. 60kwh. But despite using carbon fiber for low weight it only has 160 miles range vs Tesla Model S 60D having 225 miles range.

        Mercedes SLS AMG electric costs 544,236$. Compared to even a Tesla Model S P85D with 85kwh battery and better performance costing 120k.

        Tesla right now has the cheapest battery costs per kwh in the industry due to their technology. That lead will be secured even further with the new batteries made at the gigafactory for the affordable Tesla Model 3.

        It is highly possible that Tesla who is working with Samsung to add them as a secondary supplier and BMW who uses Samsung to have Samsung supply BMW with Tesla batteries.

        But a partnership in supercharging makes sense. Because right now, Tesla superchargers are the only chargers capable of charging quickly enough for long range EVs.

        “Hopefully BMW is careful. Those in the tech circles know Musk is pretty well known for “partnering” or poaching staff to steal tech and ditching at first possible opportunity.”

        I don’t know where you got this nonsense from. But he did no such thing.

  2. Levi says:

    There is a lot of cooperation going on the market leaders with regards to alternatives. Top leaders are BMW, Toyota and Tesla. Toyota has some small shares, and the RAV4 EV was using Tesla technology.

  3. Joe says:

    Nevada won Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant, not California

  4. CDspeed says:

    Certainly would be interesting, I was talking with my BMW salesman the other day, and he was telling me that all their i3 customers love their i3s. I remarked “just imagine what would have happened if BMW had built a Tesla competitor” to which he replied “it’d probably be the best selling BMW of all time”. And I’m sure with the i3 already in production a partnership with Tesla wouldn’t lead to another hatchback, I’d expect BMW to pursue an all electric sports sedan.

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