The electrification of the auto industry is clearly making for some strange bedfellows. We’ve seen Toyota team up with the California start-up, Tesla Motors – which has also been working with Daimler on battery car technology for its Mercedes and Smart brands. Ford is partnering with Magna and Azure Dynamics. Chrysler will take lead in developing battery technology for its partner Fiat. Nissan and European partner Renault have major plans for battery vehicles – and have also partnered with Daimler.
Now comes official confirmation that BMW will be allying itself with the French PSA Peugeot Citroen in a partnership that will help both manufacturers ramp up their hybrid efforts. The new agreement expands upon a more limited battery car program they had tentatively initiated last autumn.
The 50-50 joint venture, dubbed BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification, will focus on developing and producing everything involved in electrification, from battery packs to motors, chargers all the way to the sophisticated software needed to make the systems run smoothly and efficiently.
The partners want to come up with an array of hybrid systems that will be able to plug-and-play with a wide variety of different BMW, Citroen and Peugeot vehicles. While they are focusing on hybrid systems, it is believed likely they will also cooperate on more advanced battery-based propulsion systems, including plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.