Volkswagen floats opening up EV platform to competitors
- Volkswagen (VW) is looking to make its electric vehicle (EV) platform available to other automakers, the company’s chief strategist Michael Jost told German outlet Der Tagesspiegel in an interview.
- Jost said the company wants to extend its MEB platform standard beyond cars made by the VW Group, and that it is in "advanced discussions" with some competitors about partnerships.
- It comes just a couple of weeks after VW and Ford signed a global alliance in which they pledged to cooperate on developing EVs, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and mobility services.
VW would receive a major boost from having other automakers use its EV platform, which provides the architecture for electronic controls, software and other technology, especially as the company looks to continue its rebound from the emissions cheating scandal that cost it millions of dollars in fines. Jost said this new proposal would be a "paradigm shift" for VW, especially if the technology became the backbone for EVs across the world — and if the company cashes in on the proliferation of their technology.
Cities should also be excited about the possibility of standardized EV technology. As more look to roll out EV infrastructure, having one platform across EVs could mean that charging infrastructure becomes more standardized, too. As those EVs become autonomous, having one technology platform could help cities more easily manage and troubleshoot intersections, the curbside and congestion using software they are sure is compatible.
In the coming years, automakers will have to deal with trends such as reduced car ownership; consumers should expect to see more partnerships and plans to collaborate as they look to keep pace. Already, the likes of MINI are looking beyond simply making cars into other areas like urban living and fashion, while Ford’s investment in dockless scooter company Spin shows it is also thinking beyond single-occupancy vehicles. If a collaboration like this between VW and others works, it could usher in a new era of cooperation on EVs as they grow in use.
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