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Volkswagen announces it will make its e-car platform available to competitors

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Volkswagen wants competitors to use its electric-car platform. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Germany’s Volkswagen Group (VOW3.F) announced on Monday that it will open up its electric-vehicle platform to third parties, in a bid to create economies of scale and drive down the huge costs of making electric cars. 

The Volkswagen Group, which holds a special shareholder event in Geneva tonight on the eve of the International Motor Show, predicted that there could be a “first wave” of 15 million electric vehicles built on its electric platform, called the Modular Electric Tooklit (MEB).

“The MEB is to establish itself as the standard for e-mobility,” said VW chief executive Herbert Diess in a statement. VW added that German company e.Go Mobile would be the first external partner to use its electric platform.

The Wolfsburg-based company, which says it will invest €44bn (£37.8bn, $49.8bn) in electrification, digitalisation, and self-driving tech in the next five years, has been developing its modular platform for battery-electric cars for several years. Its new ID electric model family will use the MEB platform. The dune-buggy style ID Buggy premieres at the Geneva car show on Tuesday.

The announcement is not a surprise: VW’s strategy boss told the Tagesspiegel newspaper last month that the company was already in talks with volume-segment competitors with a view to getting them on board with using VW’s electric platform.

“I believe that as far as costs and scalability are concerned, we are an industry champion,” Michael Jost said. “That’s why we intend to make the MEB accessible to our entire industry. That is a paradigm shift for us.”