Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG have signed agreements for their global alliance that includes the development of midsize pickup trucks and commercial and electric vehicles.
Ford will be launching its first electric vehicle based on VW’s MEB platform in Europe in 2023 and both the brands are looking at other additional ways to cooperate on electric vehicles. The first Ford MEB-based vehicle will be designed and engineered by Ford in Cologne-Merkenich and is expected to get a compelling nameplate. The Blue Oval says the product would be “a highly differentiated Ford electric vehicle,” without mentioning the segment or shape of the car.
First product reported as an electric crossover with Mach E-inspired design & VW tech
It was last year that Ford and Volkswagen announced a partnership that will let Ford use the German automaker’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to build one high-volume electric car in Europe from 2023. German publication Autobild reported a few weeks ago that the design of the car would come from Ford while the technology would be by Volkswagen. The design would be more “emotional” than the VW ID cars with more than a few design cues borrowed from Ford’s first electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E. Like the ID.3, Ford customers could be given two trims – a 150 hp version that uses a 48 kWh battery and a 204 hp version that uses a 77 kWh battery.
While Ford is planning to sell over 600,000 units of the MEB-based car in six years, talks were are already on at some level earlier this year for new possibilities with the modular architecture. Note that Ford will enter the EV segment in Europe with its fully electric Mustang Mach-E SUV in 2021, starting at an expected price of £42,000.
Ford Britain’s Managing Director Andy Barratt and Executive Director for Business Transformation Graham Hoare talked about Ford’s electric plans for Europe to British publication BusinessCar.co.uk in an interview published in March. Hoare said that the Blue Oval wants to put its best foot forward when it comes to electrification and the company’s credible EV products will be aspirational. With the VW partnership, Ford will be able to jointly scale the MEB platform, as the market is very small now and the companies need to maximize the benefits. Ford is looking to launch electric products that will be affordable but will still have all the features and functions that customers expect. There is no mention in this interview or the agreement on the body type, but EVW believes the two vehicles could be in the same vein as the ID.3 and ID.4.
VW ID.3 orders open from June 17; deliveries in September
The first vehicle of the MEB platform, the VW ID.3, is yet to reach the market, but Volkswagen has announced that orders for the ID.3 can be placed from June 17 with deliveries of the ID.3 1st Edition to being from early September in Europe. The second product from the MEB is the VW ID.4 that will enter production later this year, and will be made in USA, Germany and China to cash in on the worldwide demand for affordable crossovers.
With technology developed in-house, Ford will look at electrifying its other products with mild hybrids for smaller cars like Fiesta, Focus and Puma, conventional hybrids for Mondeo, and S-Max, a plug-in hybrid with the Kuga, and full-electric options for the Transit and the F-150 pickup.