Ford plans to build more EVs on VW platform
18 September 2019
Ford and the Volkswagen Group (VW) are in discussions about the development of a second Ford electric vehicle (EV) on VW’s MEB electric platform, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.
‘Yes, we are in talks about this,’ the head of Ford Europe, Stuart Rowley, told the publication. Rowley added that it does not make any sense ‘to produce only one car based on MEB’. Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess, speaking with the VW employee newspaper, has also announced the possibility of a ‘new supply contract for a second vehicle’.
Ford and VW jointly announced in July that ‘Ford will become the first additional automaker to use Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit – or MEB – to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023. Ford expects to deliver more than 600,000 European vehicles using the MEB architecture over six years, with a second all-new Ford model for European customers under discussion,' This development could see VW almost doubling deliveries of its MEB platform to Ford.
The MEB architecture is already fully developed and underpins VW’s new ID.3 model, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show. Future small Audi, Skoda and SEAT EVs will also use the platform.
The collaboration between Ford and VW will also see VW invest $2.6 billion (€2.3 billion) for an equal share in Ford’s autonomous business Argo AI and will develop autonomous platforms and technology alongside the company to use in its own future vehicles. It is regarded that Ford is one of the automotive leaders in driverless systems, due partly to its ownership of Argo.
The cooperation is intended to be for the long term and so could see Ford add even more MEB-based models in the future. Rowley highlighted that ‘this is a strategic alliance’, adding that ‘of course, we're committed to making this collaboration a success.’
2023 start of production
Production of the first MEB-based Ford is scheduled to start in 2023. Although the production location is not yet confirmed, the expectation is that it will be in Ford’s Cologne plant. Rowley would only concede that ‘the first model will be a fantastic car’ and that production in one of Ford’s German factories is ‘a possibility.’
Ford recently revealed details of its line-up of electrified vehicles that will help drive sales that are anticipated to surpass conventional petrol and diesel models by the end of 2022 in Europe.
The carmaker expects electrified powertrains to account for more than half of the company’s passenger vehicle sales by the end of 2022, creating a tipping point for Ford’s electrified vehicle sales versus conventional petrol and diesel sales. Rowley reiterated this, telling Handelsblatt that ‘by the end of 2022, electrified cars will account for more than half of our sales.’