The partnership between Ford and Volkswagen is set to expand as a new report is indicating the two companies have reached an agreement to share autonomous and electric vehicle technology.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters is reporting the automakers have reached an “outline agreement” which will see Ford receive Volkswagen’s MEB platform. Details are limited, but Volkswagen’s supervisory board will reportedly discuss the matter later this week.
When reached for comment, a Ford spokesperson told the publication “Our talks with Volkswagen continue” and “discussions have been productive across a number of areas.” While they declined to confirm the reported agreement on autonomous and electric vehicles, the spokesperson said “We’ll share updates as details become more firm.”
The report is light on specifics, but access to the MEB platform would be a boon for Ford as it would give the company a purpose-built architecture for affordable electric vehicles. The platform is also highly flexible and Volkswagen has already announced it will underpin a number of different models including a crossover, hatchback and van.
Volkswagen is gearing up to introduce the first production model based on the architecture later this year. As previously announced, the ID.3 will have a 168 hp (125 kW / 170 PS) electric motor and a starting price of less than €30,000 ($33,653 / £26,888). There will also be a special edition called the ID.3 1st which will have a 58 kWh battery which enables the hatchback to have a range of approximately 261 miles (420 km) according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The MEB platform has been designed to accommodate batteries with different capacities and Volkswagen has said vehicles based on the platform will have a maximum range of between 205 miles (330 km) and 342 miles (550 km). Of course, that range is largely dependent on the size of the battery and the vehicle’s body style.