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Car and Driver: BMW To License EV Tech To Other Automakers

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BMW wants to license its plug-in hybrid powertrains to other automakers and hire thousands of software engineers, a top company executive revealed in Geneva last week.

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Speaking to Reuters, R&D chief Klaus Fröhlich said that “going forward we will sell electric drivetrains” to “many smaller manufacturers who cannot afford to develop a plug-in hybrid.” He also said that within five years, he wants to essentially triple the roughly 6000 software engineers working for BMW today in order to “preserve our business model without surrendering it to an internet player” such as Uber.

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BMW, which turns 100 years old today, is fast becoming a technology service provider so it can compete in the autonomous, electronic automotive world all of us will succumb to over the next 100 years.

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Last year, four percent of BMW’s 346,000 U.S. sales were hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full electrics. Of those, it sold 11,024 i3 hatchbacks and 28 3-series hybrids during the entire year. With volumes that small, it’s no wonder BMW wants to strike up some licensing deals.

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