BMW and Jaguar Land Rover team up to work on electric car technology
Car giants BMW and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have announced that they are to join forces to help develop new electric car technologies.
The two manufacturers are going to be developing electric motors, transmissions and power electronics.
Both BMW and JLR have struggled in recent years to maintain their profit margins. This has been partly down to falling car sales and higher costs.
However, their profit struggles have also been worsened due to the requirement to invest in these new technologies, as more stringent anti-pollution rules begin to appear.
“Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric car technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric car tech. They all accelerate fast, and everybody can do quality and ride and handling.”
Carl-Peter Forster, former BMW executive
A number of other car manufacturers have paired up in order to share the cost of developing electric cars, with Volkswagen and Ford having previously teamed up to work on new vehicles. At this point in time FiatChrysler and Renault are also discussing a $35bn tie-up.
Klaus Froehlich, a member of the board at BMW, said: “Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market.”
The two manufacturers will save costs through sharing research, production planning, and through sharing the cost of electric car components.
BMW has been working on an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one housing that it calls “Gen 5” of its “eDrive” technology.
A combined group of BMW and JLR engineers are now teaming up in Munich to spend more time working on this Gen 5 technology. Once this is complete, both companies will then produce their own electric drivetrains.
It’s no surprise these two giants have teamed up when you consider that JLR is run by former BMW managers. Ralf Speth JLR’s chief executive worked for BMW for 20 before he joined his current employers.
The engineering director at JLR, Nick Rogers, said: “We’ve proven we can build world beating electric cars but now we need to scale the technology to support the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover products.”
Carl-Peter Forster, a former chief executive of Tata Motors who own JLR, and a former BMW executive, spoke to the BBC saying: “Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric car technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric car tech. They all accelerate fast, and everybody can do quality and ride and handling.”