Ford Plans to Reduce Reliance on Volkswagen for Next-Gen Electric Vehicles

Photo: F-150 Lightning

Ford says it will reduce its reliance on Volkswagen for its next electric vehicle (EV) platform in Europe, according to a report from Financial Times.

The Volkswagen Modular Electric Drive matrix (MEB) platform for building EVs has been used by Ford on its Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, though the company may now be looking to build its own platform in-house. Ford partnered with Volkswagen two years ago, but now that appears to be changing.

“We are exploring all kinds of opportunities, how far we can go, and what kind of segments we can cover with this,” head of Ford’s European EV edition Martin Sanders said.

Volkswagen and Ford began their partnership on EVs and self-driving technology in 2020, though last year the companies both pulled funding out of shared autonomous driving startup Argo.

Ford is still set to launch two electric vehicles in 2023 and in 2024 that leverage Volkswagen’s electric “MEB” system, which also includes batteries from Volkswagen, with production at Ford’s plant in Cologne, Germany.

According to Sanders, a “final decision” was not decided yet on its co-operation with Volkswagen, only saying Ford is now open to using other systems for its EVs, whether from the German automaker or others.

Sanders also said Ford is on track to hit profitability on EVs in Europe by 2025.

The partnership means Ford will still build Volkwagen’s next delivery van, pick-up truck and another future electric van.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning truck was named the 2023 Motortrend Truck of the Year last month. The automaker built its 150,000th Mustang Mach-E in November, and it’s now aiming for a production target of 600,000 vehicles per year in 2023.