Jaguar Land Rover will team up with BMW to develop 'next-generation Electric Drive Units', as both brands look for a more efficient way to electrify their ranges going forward. Working together is expected to speed up the process while spreading the cost of development over more cars, reducing the overall cost per unit of batteries, charging systems, energy management systems, and electric motor technologies.
Both firms have struggled to maintain profit margins amid falling vehicle sales and higher costs as well as the need to invest in future technologies.
"Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric auto technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric vehicle tech". Until recently, it relied heavily on diesel engines to power is relatively large vehicles and has suffered mightily as the world turned a cold shoulder toward diesel in the wake of the Volkswagen cheating scandal. Meanwhile, rivals FiatChrysler and Renault are exploring a $35bn tie-up.
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.
With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly matches ours. For JLR, this will be at its engine plant in Wolverhampton, which employs 1,600 people.
Nick Rogers, JLR's engineering director, tells Auto Express, "The transition to ACES [autonomous, connected, electric, shared] represents the greatest technological shift in the automotive industry in a generation".
As it develops its plans for the mobility of the future, the BMW Group is increasingly focusing on co-operations to help make next-level electrification technology more widely available to customers by the start of the coming decade.
"Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric auto technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric vehicle tech. They all accelerate fast, and everybody can do quality and ride and handling", according to Carl-Peter Forster a former chief executive of Tata Motors and a former BMW executive.