CEO Musk tells Der Spiegel that Tesla is exploring cooperation in battery technology, charging stations, and carbon fiber body parts. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE Tesla is going beyond its relationship with Daimler and is further flirting with its German archrival, BMW. The electric carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, says he's talking to BMW about possibly working together on batteries and parts, and he expects Tesla will build a battery plant in Germany in five to six years. Musk told the German weekly Der Spiegel that Tesla is exploring cooperation in battery technology, charging stations, and carbon fiber body parts. He noted that those parts are "relatively cost efficient." BMW uses the lightweight parts in its i3 electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The two sides have talked before. Back in June, Musk said executives had met over how to make better use of Tesla's charging station network. And he said then that Tesla would let other carmakers use most of its patents to speed up development of electric cars. That generosity may not have played well with Daimler. Tesla supplies Mercedes Benz's parent with electric motors and batteries. In a move last month that surprised investors, Daimler sold its four percent stake in Tesla. That fueled speculation that they now see each others as rivals in electric cars. But Daimler insists it will keep collaborating with Tesla. Shares of all three seem to be collaborating. Tesla rose in early trading as did those of BMW and Daimler in Frankfurt.