French Electric Car Share Program Accuses BMW Of Industrial Espionage

BMW is making a splash with its new i3 and i8 electric cars. But one French agency runs an electric car sharing service isn't that impressed. They've filed a criminal complaint that BMW used spies to gather info on their electric cars.

Bollore, the company that owns Autolib, the car share program, filed an industrial espionage complaint against BMW after they saw employees of a company that BMW employs tampering with charging points and cars in Paris.

BMW weaves a different tale. They declare that the employees of the firm were simply doing compatibility checks with chargers in European cities to see if the i3 and i8 would be able to charge up there. That doesn't sound shady at all. It sounds like thorough research.

Autolib employees saw the BMW engineering company's people at charge points three different times and even had them arrested. They were released the next day. BMW says they requested the engineers look at the charging points on the first two instances, but not on the day that they were arrested.

Autolib and BMW will begin tangentially competing in the next year as the i3 rolls out, though the BMW is for purchase and Autolib is a car share. That doesn't sound like too much of a conflict, but Autolib seems to think BMW is planning on using their tech in the i3. And they don't like it at all.

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