A new collaboration between BMW and Jaguar Land Rover will see the two automakers put their collective heads together to develop drive-trains for electric cars.
The immense financial effort needed to develop electric and autonomous cars is pushing car manufacturers to work together as much as possible – such was the justification given by Fiat-Chrysler and Renault for their own recent announcement to team up, although as of today it appears that deal has fallen through.
Not so BMW and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR): the two premium vehicle manufacturers have announced they have signed a technology partnership in electric and hybrid engines.
“The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation. We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification,” said Klaus Fröhlich, BMW’s development manager in a statement to the press.
“With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours.
“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.”
Nick Rogers, JLR chief engineering director said discussions with BMW Group had made it clear that “both companies’ requirements for next-generation electric-drive units to support this transition” had significant overlap, and the makings of a mutually beneficial collaboration.
“The pace of change and consumer interest in electrified vehicles is gathering real momentum and it’s essential we work across industry to advance the technologies required to deliver this exciting future,” he said.
“It’s essential to work together in the industry to meet the demand for electrified vehicles, which is really booming right now.”
Entering into agreements geared at saving development costs is not new for either company; both groups have previously forged alliances with their competitors.
BMW is already engaged with fellow carmaker Daimler in mobility services, map data and the autonomous cars, while Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with Waymo and Google to develop autonomous driving tech.
Although the Munich-based BMW has been working on electric car technology for six years already, JLR who are now owned by the Indian Tata, has been selling its all-electric Jaguar i-Pace for just six months.
BMW will bring to the table its 5th generation electric drive, with all future collaborations launched with JLR to use evolutions of the Gen 5 drive-train.
The two will base their joint operations in Munich, while producing the collaborative drive-trains at their own respective factories.
Another example of the huge task involved in electrification of transport was seen earlier this year, when fellow car giants Ford and VW also announced this year a partnership with the aim of bringing out 16 all-electric models starting from 2020.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.