Last week Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, opened his company’s technology patents to other electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. Now it appears both Nissan and BMW are keen to take advantage Musk’s open source model and cooperate on a rapid charging network.
Both BMW and Tesla were quick to stress that it was merely coincidence that brought BMW executives to the Tesla HQ in Palo Alto during last week’s revelation. However, either way, communications were undoubtedly streamlined by the absence of secrecy. Since then Nissan have reportedly expressed wanting to be involved in the discussions.
Although nothing has been officially announced, Mr Musk did comment that Nissan and BMW were most interested in working with Tesla to create a unified charging network.
In a Q&A following last week’s announcement Tesla CEO said, “We talked about potential ways to collaborate and one of them was on the Supercharging network. We’re more than happy for others to use our Supercharger network or to build and install them and then have some sort of cross-use agreement.”
One unnamed executive also commented: “It is obviously clear that everyone would benefit if there was a far more simple way for everyone to charge their cars”
Together BMW, Nissan and Tesla account for 80% of the world’s EV sales. Most of their vehicles have the ability to be charged rapidly with Rapid DC charging points. The problem is they all operate on different standards (see Connector Selector).
Currently, this seems the biggest blockade to the mass uptake of electric vehicles. Hypothetically, a combined effort from Tesla, BMW and Nissan to build an accessible, compatible and universal charging network could be the final step in propelling EVs into the mainstream.
The Financial Times, Transport Evolved