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BMW is teslas biggest fan

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by ppl, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. ppl

    ppl Member

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    before i start, i believe this belongs in investor section since it shows how bmw views tesla threat. i am posting this here because i do not know who to forward this to at tesla, i assume someone will or they will read it here.

    was at delaware supercharger yesterday, June 14th 10pm EST. a model s signature was already there. started to talk cars with the person there. he told me he used to work for tesla. i asked who he worked for now and he told me BMW. he told me this car was not owned by him but was purchased by bmw and brought up on a flat bed truck from the carolinas to use the supercharger. it was unloaded at the rest stop there. i remembered signing agreement not to reverse engineer car and told him. he claimed tesla knew and actually had continued to do repairs under warrantee and had actually replaced the battery and car charger(who knows what was done to it--my comment not his). i got dinner but something didn't connect with me, why drive up a car to charge it? went back out and he was in car with opened lap top recording data. i asked him why they would come up here with a depleted car battery and he told me they were checking out the supercharger. i wondered if they had upgraded this one since my car seemed to be charging faster than i remembered and he told me they hadn't since it was still at the old rate. he also stated that it was dangerous to charge a lithium ion battery at the rate tesla did and they were there to find out how it was done. he said it was "brilliant how they were using a step down rate as it charged".

    he was bragging how the car bmw purchased was the 88th one made (my guess would be vin 00088). i am sure tesla can tell who was charging then and can verify this. i was also charging then vin5733 in case they want to contact me.

    i was fascinated by this for several reasons
    1. bmw must be pretty concerned to do this
    2. why would tesla tolerate this and fix car that was being reverse engineered? are they really aware?
    3. dont know what is protected or not but i suspect that companies with deep pocket could try to set up their own network.
    4. i now more fully understand the policy of no dealerships for tesla. if bmw did enter this arena, they would have to convince their dealerships to sell EV that will require minimal service (where dealerships make a large amount of their profit). like the volt, unlikely dealers would push the car very hard.
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    As an aside, I'm curious to hear what Mercedes might think about this as well.
     
  3. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    During the whole Broder affair I remember someone ran across another major automaker at the Connecticut SuperCharger who was evaluating the car. Not BMW though. I imagine every automaker in the world has at least one Model S to take apart. Including Chinese ones. It's just how business works, whether automotive or not.
     
  4. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    My next door neighbor's brother in law works for GM. I was surprised to learn GM was getting a MS when chatting with the BiL over the fence. I guess they all go to school on each other. Perhaps they should read CO's post on Tesla battery IP.
     
  5. Tharo

    Tharo Member

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    Volkswagen also bought a model s too.
     
  6. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Tesla knew long ago, that shortly after the launch of the Model S, that quietly in several nondescript warehouses across the globe, there would lay parts strewn across some floors, while people do exactly that... breakdown and reverse engineer the car.

    It will take 3 to 4 years before others begin to come out with something even close. This is when patents come into play.

    And yet, as long as they don't rip off Tesla's IP, this is exactly what Elon wants.
     
  7. Darko

    Darko Member

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    Oh man that's funny, not least because as you tell it the guy was so open as to what he was doing. I imagine Tesla has already assumed this though - two cars to each major car manufacturer, one to do a teardown and one to analyze the performance. What's that, maybe fifty cars in extra sales - not bad.

    It is interesting though from the standpoint that we in the West often point the finger at the Chinese for IP infringements, but it's not as if we don't engage in a lot of similar behavior.
     
  8. treehugger350

    treehugger350 Member

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    Wow.

    I dont have a lot of insight to add here, but to read all of this is pretty ... I don't know the right word. Fishy? Shady? Very interesting to see that other autos are in fact this concerned about Tesla.
     
  9. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    So is the race on for 2016 to see who can make the next best mass market EV? I mean, we all know who's going to win, but its nice to have some competition.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Another way to look at it, is the major carmakers doing their "due diligence" to make sure their products are competitive. No doubt they do this to every competitive car that comes on the market, from whatever manufacturer.

    It isn't clearly illegal to reverse-engineer something... it is illegal though to infringe on patents.
     
  11. Darko

    Darko Member

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    Certainly, and I remember someone mentioning that even Tesla at one point had some topline German car in their design studio to compare - don't think they were running electrical diagnostics though.
     
  12. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Reverse engineering ANY product is not infringing on IP nor violating any sort of other legal venue. Taking apart someone else's product and building something close to it but better is not even violating any sort of patent law. In fact, that's one of the purposes of patent law. Yes, it's there to protect your work for a limited time, but it also helps give other innovators new ideas to make improvements and promote competition. That's what Elon wants. Nobody can take what Tesla did and copy it exactly as that would infringe on their patents, but they are encouraged to learn about competitor's products and engineering accomplishments (via their patents) and then go ahead and make new and improved versions of them in their own products.

    - - - Updated - - -

    oh you mean like how Elon personally bought a McLaren F1 so Tesla could reverse engineer it's handling and suspension system so that they could make a Performance Plus package to compete with it?
     
  13. Darko

    Darko Member

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    No, actually I heard an Audi or something. Did they have a McLaren F1 also? Aiming high...


    I guess the takeaway is that Tesla has the serious attention of some major carmakers, and the ones that it doesn't are toast.
     
  14. 30seconds

    30seconds Active Member

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    Hardware and software and supercharging network all significantly contribute to what makes the Model S great. Just being able to do a tear down may give you a clue on the hardware but not really the software and there is no way to tear down the superchargers.

    Plus being from the Valley I am fairly certain that IP has been baked in from the start. Remember that patents are granted years after they are filed and even publication of patent applications is typically a year after filing. Not to mention trade secrets.

    also these companies have a lot of political baggage (internal) to deal with. All the top management are born and bred ICE guys. BMW has just launched hybrids after 10+ years of the Prius. I don't see BMW coming out with an all electric M5 killer anytime soon - even if they could from a technical standpoint.

    Im not saying that they can't compete, but tesla has a remarkable head start.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Huh? His personal ownership of a McLaren F1 pre-dates Tesla. I don't think Tesla people reverse engineered that car.
    I would think that experience only contributed a few things:
    #1: An interest in using carbon fiber for the Roadster.
    #2: An expectation that sports cars need to be wickedly quick.
    Handling for Roadster was mostly Lotus.
    Handling for Model S had exerptise come from Jaguar, etc.
    I don't think there was much of a McLaren connection there.

    Handling for Model S is fantastic much because of the fact that the weight distribution is so low (pack on the bottom.)
    The air suspension does remarkable things for soaking up road imperfections too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    They talk about "benchmarking the competition". I think the quote was about SUVs to use to compare to Model X. I recall hearing that they were using an Audi Q7 (among others) as a comparison vehicle. When I bought my Nissan LEAF two+ years ago, the dealship had said TeslaMotors corp had just come in and bought one too. I recall Model S was being compared against a Daimler CLS & E class.

    I think it is fairly common for every major car company to buy a bunch of competition to evaluate.
     
  16. saprolf

    saprolf Member

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    I can check with some folks at VW. I knew that they had the roadster and tried to copy the batterie package, but they were unsuccessful so far. Let me check how are the doing on the Model S. As long as the good seed is spread, that is all what counts. Don't misunderstand me we love our Tesla's, but there are people that never buy anything else that the brand they are used to. I switch from Mercedes to Tesla. Some people can't switch, but may be they can drive electric.
     
  17. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    #17 SCW-Greg, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
    So you'll know the competitors are paying attention, when we start to see (as a first step) bigger touch/nav screens, with more features and functions, as they try to mimic the 17" screen in the next wave of cars to hit the streets.

    @ TEG, Elon did more recently "rent" the F1 as the handling target in creating the P85+.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #18 TEG, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
    Are you thinking about this story about the MP4-12C? :
    Performance plus package, any ride comfort compromise at all?

    P+ First deliveries | Forums | Tesla Motors
    Anyways, MP4-12C is quite a different car from Elon's old F1.
     
  19. drees

    drees Active Member

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    "step down rate as it charged"? That's lithium battery charging 101. Constant current charge at whatever maximum current you want to push into the pack until the pack hits the target voltage, at which point you start ramping down current to maintain the maximum pack voltage. Never mind that 120 kW into a 85 kWh pack is not charging all that fast at all - I'm certain that the pack could easily handle charging at 2-3x that rate, though it wouldn't last as long.

    As far as reverse engineering goes - this is standard operating procedure. All manufacturers buy their competitors cars in order to reverse engineer their secret sauce and compare...
     
  20. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Right behind you...
    I remember during the early Roadster times that Porsche bought one to reverse engineer. Tesla was all excited about it too, so based on that, any moment now we'll see Porsche unveil a Roaster killer and put Tesla out of business with their vast resources. Any minute now ... *inhales* ... *still holding my breath* ...
     

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