Autonomous Driving Vehicles, as well as EVs, are the future. In case you still have your doubts on the future of these vehicles then the news that Volkswagen and Ford are joining hands to collectively develop future autonomous and electric vehicles must put all your doubts to rest. The move can also be seen as a way to counter the headstart that players like Tesla enjoy in the EV market.
The German and American Auto Giants are eyeing future leadership of autonomous and electric vehicle space. The decision comes at the backdrop of a host of financial and strategic advantages. In the words of Jim Farley, Ford's President of Global Markets, “It is an example of Ford’s commitment to leveraging adaptive business models.” Earlier in June 2018, Ford had made their willingness clear about future collaborations on the development of future commercial vehicles and other projects. The strategic alliance will help scale up EV respective arms of both the companies as well as save billions of dollars in research and development by making way for shared platforms and self-driving technology.
Ford could share Volkswagen's in-house MEB electric vehicle platform on its future EV offerings if the partnership is put in writing. For now, Frank Witter, the company's CFO, has denied any such agreements between the two giants. Reportedly, Volkswagen will roll out the first batch of
MEB-based models in November 2019. The models have been locally manufactured at Volkswagen's new electric vehicle factory in Zwickau, Germany. Europe has stringent emission norms for petrol and diesel vehicles and Volkswagen intents to bring 2-3 million full-electric cars on European roads by 2025. Reportedly, both Volkswagen and Ford are members of the Ionity team tasked with developing a network of lightning-fast charging stations across the length and breadth of Europe.
Collaboration could be the way ahead for global car companies as the world moves towards a zero-emission self-driving vehicle. Recently, Honda pumped in $2.75 billion in the self-driving arm of General Motors. The investment is seen as a move to rival self-driving offerings from tech giants like Apple and Google.