VW considers launching as MEB contract manufacturer
After Volkswagen had recently announced the intention to open their MEB platform for EVs to external manufacturers, it now looks as if the Group is also prepared to actually build electric cars for other brands.
This is the conclusion of a statement by Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management of VW Passenger Cars for e-Mobility: “Our Modular E-Drive Building Kit (MEB) is basically open to non-Group brands as well. We have not yet planned a corresponding opening of our factories as a project, but it does not rule out it,” German Automobilwoche quotes. The approach is not completely new, Ulbrich emphasizes with a look to the Ford Galaxy, for which VW has already launched co-production practices in Portugal, for example.
The manager also specifies that parts of the MEB could also be suitable for much cheaper entry-level cars: “Our new electric construction kit for small vehicles and use in urban regions does not yet have a name. It’s a concept project that the engineers are currently working on,” Ulbrich said. “We are examining what MEB components could be found in it, but nothing has yet been finally decided. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be a small version of our MEB. The MEB components would also have to fit financially into the framework.”
To remember: Almost two months ago, the news that Volkswagen wanted to open its MEB electrical construction kit for external manufacturers – and had already found a partner in e.GO Mobile – caught our attention. The Aachen-based startup is already planning “a dedicated vehicle project” with the MEB, which they hope will speed up development, as well as making the vehicle more “robust” and cost-effective. By providing the blueprints for the development of electric vehicles, VW may quickly establish themselves as other manufacturers struggle to set up or convert electric vehicle manufacturing capacities while keeping investment costs to a minimum.
automobilwoche.de (Paywall, in German)