This week from South Korea, BMW said it is open to helping its competitors work with its battery supplier, Samsung SDI.
Not unlike Tesla, which recently made a far broader gesture in opening its patents to competitors, BMW’s motivation is enlightened self-interest, as more EV makers will increase economies of scale.
“If Mercedes called us, we would be happy to find a way with Samsung SDI to supply them with battery cells,” said BMW purchasing head, Klaus Draeger.
BMW has worked with Samsung SDI since 2009, and this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korean company.
Provisions of the MOU include co-development of next generation battery cells.
Plans in the interim are for BMW to increase orders of battery cells from this, its exclusive supplier, by “at least” 20 to 30 percent in 2016 compared to present levels.
Samsung SDI also currently supplies cells to Chrysler in the U.S. for the Fiat 500e EV, and to Ferrari for the LaFerrari hybrid.
Apple computer also uses Samsung SDI batteries and the subsidiary of giant conglomerate, Samsung, wishes to compete more earnestly with others including LG Chem which supplies GM for the Volt and ELR, and Renault and Panasonic which supplies Tesla.