In the electric vehicle space, collaboration is happening in the form of standards for charging connectors and communications protocols that will enable drivers to be billed for charging. The technology within the vehicles is evolving as well but sales volumes are likely to remain painfully small for some time, a fact that will limit cost reductions from economies of scale. As a result, automakers and suppliers are teaming up to share battery, electronic and motor advances so that they can bring down costs. Once a critical mass of electric vehicle sales is reached, automakers will likely start to develop some unique technologies again in order to set themselves apart. Until that happens, partnerships between companies like Tesla, Toyota and Daimler as well as between automakers, governments and utilities, are likely to become more common.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]