VW: All Our Electric Car Platforms Are Yours: Opens Up MEB EV To All

MAR 4 2019 BY MARK KANE 62

VW seeks the widest possible deployment of the MEB

Volkswagen Group officially announced that it is opening its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) platform for a wide range of all-electric cars to other manufacturers.

The idea behind the move is to lower costs through increased production scale, beyond the already high target of 15 million MEB cars (the first wave) that will be produced by all the brands within the VW Group.

The first external partner to develop its own model on MEB is e.GO Mobile AG, founded by Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh in 2015 at the RWTH Aachen Campus.

VW underlines that MEB can be utilized in both high-volume production, as well as in short-series like e.GO cars or Volkswagen I.D. Buggy.

“e.GO Mobile AG based in Aachen, Germany, is to be the world’s first external partner to use the electric platform to launch further electric vehicles in addition to Volkswagen’s model range. A dedicated vehicle project is already being planned. Volkswagen is highlighting the MEB’s variability even for small series with the ID. BUGGY on show at the Geneva International Motor Show.”

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62 Comments on "VW: All Our Electric Car Platforms Are Yours: Opens Up MEB EV To All"

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Is it “open”, as in the designs are usable by anyone? Wish this article had made that more clear. I highly doubt this is the case and suspect it is more an invitation for other manufacturers to buy the components for the MEB platform from VW. Nice idea either way I suppose (though open designs would be even more awesome). Looking forward to it being more than marketing hype.

VW wants to sell you the innards to lower their per copy. Cost

Makes sense to me

This makes it obvious that Ford will be using the MEB platform for all their BEVs, since Ford has not developed a new BEV platform, only PHEV/ICE applications.

Yeah you know if I was CEO of a major auto company that had sorta fumbled the ball on this issue, I’d stare at the barrier to entry real hard and then call up my buds over at Brand X and see if they could help me fast forward through the pain. Especially if that manufacturer was the world’s largest auto company and had doubled it’s worldwide sales over the last 10 years blowing past GM and Toyota. On the down side, internet forum posters assure me VW is toast and cannot recover from dieselgate and will go broke any day now. ANY.DAY. Never mind their sales globally just ignored it and kept climbing and the vast majority of the world where VW markets are have no idea what dieselgate is (the US is rounding error on VW’s volume). Getting in bed with the company with the deepest pockets is generally not a horrible idea.

Maybe there’s hope for Mazda?

I hope so! It may be hard for them to do it because of their “Japanese Pride.”

Mazda and Toyota will do EVs.

That would be true if vw was the biggest , but they arent in revenue, toyota was still the top dog in 2018.

What about the “platform” that ford is using for it’s (supposedly) upcoming crossover Mustang inspired thingy.

…the low volume FrankenStang that has never had a concept and is not due until 2021? I think they were trying out the MEB platform all along, not announcing anything because they would have to state that it’s the MEB platform before announcing the ‘deal’.

Also I think Ford’s idea of killing off sedans continues to drag down sales month after month. Moving to quarterly sales reports trying to hide the decline won’t help either. I the consumer does not want a truck or SUV…Ford has nothing.

I don’t think Ford was trying the MEB platform all along. Since 2014 or ??? I recall reading various articles about Ford working on a modular type of platform based on the new global Focus that could be used for EV, PHEV, HEV, and ICE.

Fast forward to today, we have a new global Focus, albeit not sold here, and ZERO EV/PHEV vehicles from them! (so really no change, lmfao)

@Tom, sounds just like I suggested yesterday that Tesla should do. Now if VW can get the Electrify America/Canada/etc program rocking, they will have a very solid proposal and provide a huge boost to the EV movement, that is assuming we are interpretting their announcement correctly.

They dont have the production capacity for that
They have their hands full making platforms for their own cars

Long on hype but not much else. For instance they haven’t ordered 20% of the batteries needed for their own production, much less for others.
They talk of 100million EVs but haven’t built any decent ones, just bad conversions of gas cars and not many of
them.

It’s a bit vague, but it seems to me that the basic idea is to buy the skateboard from VW (batteries optional), and then bolt your own bodywork onto that. VW must be looking at their own history, when the original Beetle was the recipient of dozens of third-party fibreglass bodies. Not just beach buggies but sports car replicas too. So if Toyota ever wakes up, they could order skateboards from VW and hey presto, we present the Toyota e-Corolla.

If it also means that they are not going to enforce any patents they have on the design, even better, for it could mean that other manufacturers could create VW-compatible cars with lots of interchangeable parts. Either way, VW is trying to position itself as the centre of the non-Tesla EV world.

But we’ll see what they actually meant.

ROFL. Toyota is never going to use a substandard VW electric platform.
Toyota has tied up Panasonic, the largest and best battery producer in the world. Panasonic is moving all of its worldwide battery production plants to Japan to support the partnership, other than Tesla production.
So Toyota is going to enter the fray at full speed in a few years and they will be making money on their cars. They will also have the underlying quality and reliability of a Panasonic battery.
This is bad news for the Germans who are relying on batteries from substandard suppliers in China and Korea, with no real plan to develop batteries of their own at GF1+ scales. They are basically all of the place on batteries, like a dog’s breakfast.

Toyota is a joke at this point, about like 1990s GM. On top of the world without a clue.

The Germans have a very smart plan. Why sink a whole lot of money into the current-gen li-ion cells? They can buy all the cells from others for now, but their real focus is solid state batteries, which is where they are going to put their manufacturing dollars into, coming to production in 2021.

They have no plan.
Toyota has been working on solid state for a long time they have many patents in the technology. They are working with Panasonic to bring the technology to the market.
Germany has zero expertise in battery development and manufacturing at scale.

This kind of stuff is SO exciting to me. I predict that EV is going to bring boutique car makers into the mix at prices people can afford, no longer just super-cars. Tesla has done it, Rivian is next, there will be more! And with VW assisting that makes it easier for others to enter. Love it.

The chassis is going to need an adjustable wheel base in order to accommodate the vast selection of aftermarket body designs.

It can scale from the buggy to the bus so it should be fine.

I imagine it does just like Volkswagens mqb architecture that underpins everything from the Golf and the polo to the giant Atlas

I wonder how much a rolling chassis with batteries and motor would be? For say custom EV builds to make kit cars that look like classic ICE cars.

In a strange way this sorta democratizes everything and lowers barrier to entry to new players. Have a great looking design? Great….we got the rest covered…off the shelf. We might even help you meld the two.

yes, the reality is that ICE drivetrains have been so expensive and time consuming to delevelop that it kept everyone but the big boys out.

I was just thinking along those lines too.Could an individual like myself buy a skateboard to mount a 69 Camaro body to?All the aftermarket classic musclecar bodies are readily available right now

Well, perfect for those entry Chinese manufacturers that want to get in quickly.

Now the big question is price.

Will it get EVs to market faster?. Maybe VW could sell Audi on the idea and then Audi might finally get more of their long list of concept EVs finally into production……

/s

???

I guess I have to spell it out.

1) VW is offering MEB to other companies who need to build EV’s.
2) VW’s sister badge Audi is the hands down by far leader in producing concept cars that never make it into production.
3) Before VW starts sharing outside their house, they should look under their own roof for cars that need to be built, and get more of those long list of never-built concept cars actually into production,

Audi is part of VW along with Porsche, Skoda, Lambo and Seat

…and Bugatti, Bentley, Ducati motorcycles and MAN and Scania trucks.

Thank you Capt. Obvious.

The point is that if VW is going to talk about building other cars for other car makers, as if it were a short-cut for other car makers, they should eat their own dog food and get some of their own family of brands long long list of never-built concept cars produced first.

Audi will build everything on plattforms from VW and Porsche. Everything. “Vorsprung durch Technik” is gone, forever.

Audi E-Tron has the most efficient battery and motor cooling. Allows battery charging 10-80% at 140 kW. Axle of motors liquid cooled. Regen at up to 220 kW.

Sharing feels good and does good, we all can benefit

The more the merrier.

VW has other electric platforms they are working on:
the PPE (Premium Platform Electric), and much later, the SPE (Sports Platform Electric) platforms.

Their present sporty platform is the J1, used in the Audi e-tron and the Porsche Taycan, and is even planned for an electric Bentley, (unless Bentley goes with the PPE).

Actually the Taycan is on a different platform that etron. I think the etron GT will be based on the Taycan platform. So, too many platforms for now, time to condense it to a few winners otherwise the size of VW won’t be an advantage vs Tesla and Co.

This is great news.

Although I only want to buy timeless designs like Tesla, I also want to see what weird stuff Mitsuoka and others like them will dream up and build with this blank canvas.

Hello, my name is… Mr Smuk…yes, that will do. And I come from some place far away. I am interested in buying some of your automotive platforms for my small coach-building enterprise.

Hopefully there is a Westfalia in this for me . . .

Tesla has already opened their patents that are actually useful. VW doesn’t offer anything close to the Tesla technology.

Well, VW offers a nice plattform that you can buy for a solid price. How you make profit out of it is your problem.

Both Tesla’s and VW’s offers are theater.

VW wants to save the world like Tesla too, if all makers follow after, we can feel good about our planet, it’s more than safe and in very good hands.

VW only wants to save VW. They can’t care less about the rest of the world. They have shown this since they were established. For me, this action is kind of pathetic and just shows they are panicking.

Are you sure they don’t want to save the world?!
Ok ok, it’s just Elon Musk alone – poor guy…

This will definitely help to cut their per copy costs. Maybe VW also looks into the future of mobility with automatic driving where brands don’t matter to customers, they just want to get a ride from a to b cheap. This platform would make them more of a supplier than an OEM.

All I can say to VW’s latest electrical efforts is: Nice renderings

Why should anyone company sign up for this powertrain??? ITS THE MOST INEFFICIENT POWERTRAIN IN THE EV WORLD. Last I heard the VW engineers were reverse engineering the Model 3 powertrain because they just realized its awful.

Seeing this VW movement, and seeing how traditional manufacturers face autonomous driving and connectivity of their cars, it seems increasingly clear that manufacturers are adopting the business model of modular personal computers.
Just as we have computers of a certain brand, with the famous “intel inside” and a Windows operating system, we will soon start to see GM cars with “VW MEB inside”, WAYMO autonomous driving and Android operating system.
This business model will reduce the profit margins of the car manufacturer, but will increase the manufacturers of its components.
VW simply wants to become the Intel of cars, who manufactures their components, thus making money even for the cars they do not produce, it is a plan to adapt to the new electric era.
I sincerely do not know what plan have the other car makers not to go bankrupt.

This is how I see car’s going in the future.

We’ll have 3 or 4 major skateboard manufacturers and then 10 to 20 major complete car manufacturers using those skateboards to build their own cars.

Didn’t VW just recently say the Tesla design was far ahead of theirs (and that is the 3 year old design of the Model 3)……What further improvements Tesla has made (which will likely show up on their next platform or the next iteration of the S / X). It seems as if this platform may already be well behind the “state of the art”

Check a site like carsalesbaseDOTcom. For europe, the tesla model s made inroads, in 5th place, in the premium large segment. Tesla model x made inroads in the premium large suv segment , in 10th place, and the tesla model 3, if it can deliver 150000 in 2019, will most probably 1st in the categery premium midsize segment. (before mercedes C (in 2018 151000) /audi A4 (in 2018 106000)/ BMW 3 (in 2018 104000) ).

If they do this, I think you will see an explosion of restomods and replicas like we have never seen before.

That very well could be, though it might be out of reach for an individual to, say, retrofit their ’67 Chevy or something.

All our EV platform belong to you.

We are seriously interested to purchase this MEB platform, is there any contacts that you could provide?
Your assistance much appreciated.