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Ford, Volkswagen Expand EV Partnership

Photo: Sam VarnHagen

Ford and Volkswagen will expand their partnership in electric vehicles, with Ford set to utilize the German manufacturer’s MEB platform to design and build at least one new EV for the European market.

Announced Friday in New York City, site of this weekend’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship race, Ford will become the first non-Volkswagen-owned manufacturer to utilize VW’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB).

At least one “high volume” EV will be designed and produced by Ford in Europe for the European market starting in 2023.

Ford plans to deliver more than 600,000 vehicles using the MEB architecture over six years, with a second Ford model under discussion.

“Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess.

“Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate.

“Scaling our MEB drives down development costs for zero-emissions vehicles, allowing for a broader and faster global adoption of electric vehicles.

“This improves the positions of both companies through greater capital efficiency, further growth and improved competitiveness.”

Additionally, Volkswagen has joined Ford in investing in the autonomous vehicle platform Argo AI, at a valuation of more than $7 billion.

Argo AI’s self-driving system, focused on delivering Level 4 autonomy, has deployment plans for Europe and the U.S.

“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” said. Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett.

“Unlocking the synergies across a range of areas allows us to showcase the power of our global alliance in this era of smart vehicles for a smart world.”

The alliance, which covers collaborations outside of Volkswagen and Ford’s joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies and is independent from the investment into Argo AI.

The alliance is governed by a joint committee, which is led by Hackett and Diess and includes senior executives from both companies.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of e-racing365. Dagys, who launched the industry-leading Sportscar365 in 2013, spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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