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Ford, VW Tie the Knot to Work on EVs and Autonomous Cars

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【Summary】According to reports, Ford and Volkswagen could expand on their current alliance to include electric cars and self-driving technology.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 11, 2019 4:00 PM PT
Ford, VW Tie the Knot to Work on EVs and Autonomous Cars

Talks of Ford and Volkswagen working together for the next generation of cars has made headlines for the past few years. First, there was a whiff of an alliance between the two first came out in 2018. Then, this February, there was talk that the two couldn't figure out how much to invest, which was followed by a possible $1.7 billion investment from VW into Ford's Argo AI. Let's not forget that Ford and VW have an alliance to build pickup trucks and vans.

So, it seems like the time is finally right for the two to officially form a partnership to share technology in regard to electric cars and self-driving vehicles. Or at least, they're one step closer than ever.

VW's MEB EV Platform Is Crucial

According to a report by The New York Times, Ford and Volkswagen are expected to sign an agreement as soon as next week to officially being sharing the cost of developing autonomous and electric cars. Two unnamed sources that are familiar with the discussions told the outlet about the upcoming partnership. Reuters claims that Volkswagen's MEB electric vehicle platform is the main source of partnership for the two companies and would be shared with Ford.

The MEB is the crux around Volkswagen's current move toward manufacturing electric vehicles on a grand scale. The platform is set to underpin a lot of cars from the I.D. 3 hatchback, I.D. Crozz concept, and even the electric version of the Microbus. Clearly, VW has a lot riding on the MEB platform and it's a major part of the company's electric future.

Ford Has The Autonomy Down

While VW has its electric platform, Ford is reportedly bringing its autonomous tech to the collaboration. Argo AI is an artificial-intelligence company out of Pittsburgh that is owned by Ford. The company uses Ford's Fusion Hybrid as the basis of its self-driving program. So, it looks like both could benefit from the partnership.

Reuters claims that VW's supervisory board is set to officially discuss the alliance with Ford on July 11, a second unnamed source told the outlet.  

If the deal were to go through, it would be Ford's second large collaboration for electric cars. The American automaker recently struck up a deal with startup Rivian in regard to an electric pickup truck. Ford's $500 million investment in the startup will also allow the automaker to use Rivian's "skateboard" platform for its own EV. With the partnership with VW almost complete, Ford will have two platforms to use: one for passenger cars and one for a pickup truck.

Ford doesn't have a lot of electric vehicles in its current lineup, but boy does it have some plans for EVs. There's, of course, the upcoming electric F-150. A Mustang-inspired crossover that will be electric is also in the near future. With VW and Rivian also lending a helping hand, Ford's electric plans are sure to grow.

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