Ford may be pushing hard to develop electric cars for China, but its efforts to bring electric cars to its traditional markets in the US and Europe have, arguably, been falling behind for years. Now however, the company is hoping to leverage its blossoming relationship with German industrial giant, Volkswagen, to develop new electric cars like, now– and VW seems into it!
One of the biggest challenges that both Ford and VW face in getting more consumers to buy electric cars is to bring prices down to make the cars price competitive without big tax credits. Executives from both companies said that boosting economies of scale by sharing the Volkswagen-developed MEB platform is the best way to do that. “We will see more collaboration [on electric cars] because the timing is not clear and the market penetration is not clear,” said VW’s new CEO, Herbert Diess.
Volkswagen seems to have agreed already to provide its basic, MEB, electric vehicle architecture– including the batteries, of course!– for up to 600,000 examples of the unannounced Ford electric car. That’s not all, though. The two companies have reportedly entered into discussions to build a second MEB-based electric model for Ford that’s good for a few hundred thousand more examples, as well. Here’s the best part for our American readers, though: Diess has said that future Ford EVs based on VW’s MEB technology could make their way to the US. (!)
Now, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean Ford isn’t developing electric vehicles for the US on its own. Far from it, in fact– it’s just that Ford has kind of given up developing small cars and sedans for the US market, leaving cars like the Ford Fusion to sort of age out and die without an update or replacement coming anytime soon. So, no. No, there won’t be a new electric Fusion or a new electric Focus, but new electrics like the recent Ford Explorer hybrid and upcoming electric F-150 and Mustang are coming, and they’ll be “all Ford” products.
Whether or not “all Ford” is a selling point depends on your experience with Ford, I guess. That said, I feel like this is a smart move by VW that lets them hedge their bets on the success of their own products by essentially convincing for to market and sell its platform for free. That’s my take, anyway– tell us what you think of this news in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Source | Images: Green Car Reports.