Published on June 17th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro4
Nissan May Join Tesla & BMW To Push EV Revolution Using Tesla Patents
June 17th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
Editor’s Note: When Tesla Motors announced it would allow anyone to use its patents “in good faith,” one of the top questions was, “Will anyone bite?” Companies that have simply gone the “compliance car” route seem unlikely to jump at the opportunity (though, maybe this is the stimulation that would get some of them to move). Nissan and BMW have been the most enthusiastic to join the EV revolution, and the Nissan Leaf is far and away the top EV seller, but would they want to use Tesla’s tech? Putting pride aside, I think the answer is very likely “yes,” and early indication about meetings between Tesla and these two automakers. We’ll see where that leads. In the meantime, here’s more discussion from Chris:
Just before Elon Musk gave away all of Tesla’s patents, the Silicon Valley automaker was in talks with BMW about sharing its Supercharger technology. Now Nissan wants in on the technology-sharing talks between Tesla and BMW, and could be on the short list to fast track Tesla technology to its own EVs.
A Nissan-Tesla-BMW alliance would cover the Japanese, American, and German markets, with the three most serious EV contenders joining forces to promote a new method of mobility. The BMW i3 and i8 are the first serious Nissan Leaf contenders since the little electric car launched in late 2010, and Tesla’s choice to offer different battery sizes appears to have affected Nissan’s future plans for the Leaf EV.
Yet it’s important to keep in mind that Nissan is also heavily involved in promoting the CHaDeMO fast chargers across Europe and Japan, where it recently joined an EV charging alliance with Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi. Nissan has long had its own plans, and I doubt they ever imagined Tesla would just open up its patents to the world. Nissan looks like it is stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment.
Could we end up with two, or perhaps even three different charging standards based on region? Or will Tesla’s technologically superior (and free) Superchargers be adapted for use in BMW, Nissan, and other vehicles? That is starting to look more and more certain.