Ford could build multiple electric vehicles using Volkswagen Group’s ‘MEB’ platform, its European president has hinted.
The two companies already have an engineering partnership that gives Ford access to the platform for an EV that’s expected in 2023, with spy shots last month hinting at that model being an SUV.
In return for accessing the MEB platform, Ford will lead production of next generation pickup trucks and vans for both brands.
However, speaking during the Financial Times Future of the Car summit, Stuart Rowley, Ford of Europe president, hinted that the partnership might not be limited to just one EV.
He said: “Our alliance isn’t meant to be capped or defined, and we’re going to look for opportunities to work together for mutual benefit where it makes sense for both companies.
“I’ve got a point of view [on future plans]; we haven’t shared that, but there could be a lot of opportunities with commercial vehicles, the MEB platform and in other areas.”
Despite this, Ford said it would not ‘cede leadership’ to others in electric vehicle platforms.
Rowley added: “The mid-sized vehicle segment in Europe is very important, and Volkswagen has a lot more scale than Ford, so [using the MEB platform] makes sense.
“For Ford, commercial vehicles in Europe are vital, and we have an agreement for a new one-tonne van (the next-generation Transit and Transporter) and pick-up truck (the Ranger and Amarok) with Volkswagen, and we will take the lead on those.
“The capital required to go on this journey is huge, and we’re not the only company in this industry to look at alliances. We’re both clear-eyed about it, but so far, we’re both really pleased with the platform.”
Ford’s new MEB-based vehicle is expected to slot in beneath the firm’s only current electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, as a slightly smaller SUV. Next week, Ford will reveal its first electric pick-up truck, which revives the F-150 Lightning name.