BMW and Tesla could soon begin collaborating to promote electric cars

Electric cars are a tough sell these days, but perhaps a little collaboration will make things easier. BMW and Tesla executives met earlier this week to discuss electric cars, Reuters reports. The meeting was held on Wednesday, but BMW declined to give any further details. In a conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Reuters that the two companies discussed how to promote electric cars, and how to make better use of Tesla’s network of “Supercharger” DC fast-charging stations. Tesla also announced this week that it would share its patents with other companies, theoretically giving rival carmakers the ability to make future models compatible with the Supercharger network. BMW and most other German and U.S. carmakers signed on with the Combined Charging Standard for DC fast charging, so it’s unclear whether the Bavarian carmaker would use both, or abandon the slow-to-develop CCS network for a full partnership with Tesla.

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. “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 charging stations. 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.

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