Bollore has a beef with BMW, and it's apparently serious. The company that runs the French carsharing service Autolib filed a criminal complaint against the German automaker of, "using spies to gather information on its electric cars," in the words of AFP. The problem, allegedly, is that two employees of engineering firm P3, which was working for BMW, were seen "tampering" with both Autolib charging stations and electric vehicles. The two were arrested in Paris and released after being questioned by police.

Autolib' spokesman Jules Varin told the AFP, "We do not know for now what information they have been able to gather or the technologies that they have used. All we can say is that Bollore is ahead in several technologies in which we have invested a lot of money, including the battery and the geo-location system." BMW says there was no foul play and that the workers were simply, "conducting routine tests carried out across Europe to check the compatibility of charging points on public roads."

Autolib uses 1,800 Bollore Bluecars for its EV carsharing network, which has been operational since late 2011. 34,000 members uses these vehicles, which are made by Pininfarina. Bollore has invested over 100 million euros in Autolib and the carshing program is supposed to come to the US (starting in Indianapolis) in the near future. The last major EV espionage case involved Renault and China, but that may have been a hoax.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems to me that Bollore is acting very prematurely. Exactly what technology are they claiming to be taken, and where are they claiming that BMW has used it?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Even they outright admit they don't know: "We do not know for now what information they have been able to gather or the technologies that they have used." Why not have some evidence, before making allegations and filing a suit?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "Tampering" is a pretty broad term. The police released the accused - but we're not told what they were charged with initially. Here in the US, people can be arrested simply for taking pictures of items even when on display in public places. It's wrong, but it happens. Examining someone's car, and examining the charging station would be a pretty likely occurrence - I've done it myself, checking out local charging stations (even though I don't have an EV, I'm interested in what it's all about). I don't doubt that BMW may have been attempting to figure out how Bollare gets its tech to work - but to pursue a lawsuit, I think some evidence of actual damages would be necessary. As it is, it appears that Bollare doesn't know what BMW might have actually done, if they did anything.
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Being caught red-handed on three separate occasions while physically tampering with a car and two charging stations is pretty good evidence. The second time the people ran away. The third time police arrived and arrested them. Even if they were unsuccessful in gathering any information at all, the actions alone suggest criminal behavior to me and if it were my car being screwed with, I would press charges.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Criminal behaviour by car companies? Come! That is stretching credibility too far!
      Michael Walsh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Germans sneaking around France engaged in espionage? Who'd have thunk it? Said no-one in Europe, 1940-1944