Volkswagen and Ford are increasing their e-mobility collaboration. The American automaker will introduce another electric vehicle in Europe based on Volkswagen's modular electric powertrain kit (MEB). Simultaneously, Ford tripled its anticipated MEB production to 1.2 million cars over six years. The deal was reached as part of the organizations' strategic cooperation, encompassing commercial vehicles and self-driving cars.
"For the final breakthrough of e-mobility in Europe, cost-effectiveness and speed are critical today. We are addressing both of these issues in collaboration with Ford, and today's agreement will expedite both firms' electrification efforts, "According to Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group's Board of Directors for Technology. "At the same time, it demonstrates the MEB's strengths: it offers a unique combination of high-tech, competitive pricing, and rapid project implementation. The electric platform is thus a great alternative for businesses who wish to accelerate their transition to e-mobility."
Ford's first electric vehicle to be powered entirely by the MEB will be an all-electric crossover. It is slated to begin rolling off the manufacturing line at Ford's "Ford Electrification Center" in Cologne in 2023, advancing its e-mobility goal. Initially, Ford intended to build only one MEB-based vehicle with a total production volume of roughly 600,000 electric cars. The business has not yet provided specific details on the second planned vehicle, although it will also be a crossover.
"Our strategic collaboration with Volkswagen is critical to Ford's commitment to a portfolio of fully electric cars that are distinctly Ford and suit the mobility demands of contemporary Europe in the battle against climate change," said Ford Europe CEO Stuart Rowley.
Volkswagen sees the expanded collaboration with Ford as a step toward becoming a platform supplier in electromobility as a complementary business to its primary enterprise. The MEB electric platform is cross-brand and cross-manufacturer compatible and serves as the technology foundation for ten electric vehicles from five companies (Audi, Cupra, Ford, Skoda, VW). With about 300,000 units sold by 2021, it is one of the world's most powerful electric platforms.
Volkswagen's in-development "future platform," SSP (Scalable Systems Platform), will also be shared with partners. According to the organization, cross-brand and cross-manufacturer use are considered from the outset of development.