Klaus Froehlich, the BMW board member in charge of development, is scheduled to join energy group E.ON’s supervisory board, the recent sign of convergence between both sectors in the area of electric mobility.
E.ON will propose Froehlich as a candidate at its yearly general meeting set for May 9, as per the event’s official invitation published on E.ON’s website on Tuesday. He will remain in his position at the automaker.
Automakers and utilities have boosted cooperation following an expected rise in battery-powered vehicles, seeking both industries to radically reconsider their supply chains and business models.
Most advanced in e-mobility among German automakers, BMW revealed its first battery electric car in 2013, and has been collaborating on different generations of battery, software and electric motor innovation since then.
It wants to bring 25 new electrified models by 2025, 12 of these vehicles will be wholly battery electric variants.
The cross-industry trend also consist executives swapping industries, such as Stefan von Dobschuetz, who last year joined German energy group Innogy to co-head its e-mobility unit after serving as general manager for the automaker’s electric i brand.
Under a landmark deal to break up Innogy, revealed in March, its e-mobility unit is going to be swallowed by E.ON, which already has a similar business and will get higher scale in the quest to construct the infrastructure needed for electric vehicles.
Some automakers have also started to take interest in the utility business, taking a leaf out of Tesla’s strategy book of providing cars, charging infrastructure and batteries.
Renault-Nissan, for a name, is drawing up plans to construct a 100 megawatt power storage plant in Europe, hoping to provide electric car batteries a second life in a project that could likely contend with utilities.