Ford and VW’s global alliance just got a little bigger. The companies today announced an expansion of their tie-up, arguably the most significant result being the use of VW’s MEB electric vehicle platform.
Ford will use the MEB architecture to build “at least one pure battery electric vehicle” from 2023. Over the six years that follow, it wants to shift over 600,000 built using the platform. This isn’t the only outsourced EV platform Ford will use - the Blue Oval is also borrowing plug-in car knowhow from US startup Rivian following a $500 million cash injection announced a few months ago.
Speaking about sharing MEB with Ford, VW CEO Dr Herbert Diess said:
“Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate.”
This could, in other words, be just the start, and away from electric cars, Ford and VW will also work together to build vans and “medium” pick-up trucks. The latter will be engineered and built by Ford for an anticipated market launch in 2022, as will a range of larger vans. VW, meanwhile, will be tasked with developing a “city van”.
The final piece of the puzzle concerns Argo AI, with VW joining Ford in investing a truck-load of money in the US autonomous technology firm. Wolfsburg will be committing a total of $2.6 billion and purchasing Argo AI shares from Ford over the next three years.