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.

Share This Photo X