Tesla, BMW, and Nissan Consider Sharing Charging Technology

In the wake of Tesla effectively taking the lid off its patents, BMW and Nissan are mulling the idea of collaborating on charging technology.

Presently the three automakers, which use different charger plug configurations, produce about 80 percent of the global supply to the still-budding market, and to create synergy BMW and Nissan are considering Tesla’s platform.

Unclear is whether a shared plug would be used, but this is not out of the question say observers.

Tesla charges $1,000 for a CHAdeMO adapter. Also, its well-over 100-kw power output is significantly higher than the 44-kilowatts Nissan’s AeroEnvironment DC level 3 Quick charger delivers. (Photo of its in-home high power wall connector shown.)

Of course Nissan and BMW have much smaller batteries than Model S, so for now it might be less an issue of speed than merely ability to plug in with common charging infrastructure.

BMW is still just getting rolling with its i3 but has invested significantly, and received much positive reception with its electric city car, and is looking for ways to foster adoption.

An executive who declined to be named told the Financial Times that mutual benefit is part of the discussions to share charging platforms.

“It is obviously clear that everyone would benefit if there was a far more simple way for everyone to charge their cars,” said the executive presumably from one of the three companies.

Whether this collaboration has to do with Tesla’s patent decision however is not being confirmed. Both Nissan and Tesla which met last Wednesday denied one event follows the other and Nissan issued only a benign statement as to its intents.

“Nissan welcomes any initiative to expand the volumes of electric vehicles,” the Japanese manufacturer said. “Nissan is the market leader in EVs and has worked with other manufacturers to help proliferate the technology.”

Financial Times