Why is BMW accused of spying on a carsharing system?

A Paris carsharing company says that BMW has been snooping around its electric cars.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

BMW has been doing well recently. The German car company sold over 1.8 million vehicles last year (a record) and also set a record for the first half of 2013 with more than 954,000 cars sold. On top of that, the company recently unveiled it's first electric car.

So why would BMW need to spy on a Paris carsharing system with less than 2,000 electric cars?

It's unclear, but that's exactly what Autolib is accusing BMW of doing after it says it caught two employees of a company hired by BMW tampering with Autolib cars and charging stations multiple times. Autolib's theory, according to AFP?

"We do not know for now what information they have been able to gather or the technologies that they have used," Autolib' spokesman Jules Varin said.

"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," he said.

For the record, AFP reports, BMW says it was performing "routine tests" of charging point compatibility throughout Europe as it prepares for its release of its i3 electric car next year.

Here's how the spy drama played out.

The Paris carsharing system, which has been in place since 2011, has about 1,700 electric cars, 4,200 charging stations, and 37,000 members and expanding to the United States where it plans to bring the largest electric carsharing system in the U.S. to Indianapolis.

Photo: Flickr/mariordo59

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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