In an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel on Sunday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said that his company, Tesla Motors, is in talks with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) for a possible collaboration in batteries and light-weight components.
BMW is known to use carbon fibers in making reinforced passenger cell components for its electric hatchback i3 and plug-in hybrid sports car i8. Such material is produced by materials supplier SGL Group, which BMW has a joint venture with.
In the interview, Musk was quoted saying that BMW’s production and usage of carbon fiber in reinforcing car body parts is both “interesting” and “relatively cost efficient.” He also noted that they are talking with the German carmaker for a possible collaboration in battery technology or charging stations.
BMW has yet to make a statement regarding this matter. There are also no further details concerning the specific nature of the possible collaboration, though executives from both auto companies have already met in June to tackle the development of charging stations that would benefit a variety of electric cars.
Aside from discussing the possible alliance with BMW, Musk also mentioned to Der Spiegel that he is looking to have a plant in Germany in the next five to six years. The plant will serve as the place of production for their vehicles’ batteries.
Tesla has been teaming up with different auto companies in recent years on projects involving electric vehicles. It has worked with Toyota on the RAV4 EV project as well as with Daimler AG, which is the owner of the Mercedes brand and rival of BMW. The latter automaker used to hold shares in Tesla, but sold its remaining 4 percent stake in the electric car company last month. However, the German automaker said that it would still continue collaborating with Tesla Motors even after selling its shares in the electric car company.