Volkswagen is in talks with other manufacturers on sharing the key technology underpinning its future Porsche and Audi electric car models, part of an effort to build scale and spread development costs.
“There’s definitely interest,” Ulrich Widmann, head of development at Audi for the joint engineering project, said. “We’re having conversations. Sharing technology to generate scale effects is the only way to achieve the turnaround in electric cars, both economically and ecologically.”
Widmann declined to identify manufacturers who have shown interest in adopting the so-called PPE platform, which is being developed by Porsche and Audi as the basis for their purely battery-powered models starting in 2021.
“Given the huge research and development investment required for the transition to battery-electric vehicles, many smaller luxury names could be interested including Aston Martin, McLaren and Maserati,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Dean said. “You couldn’t rule out BMW and Mercedes, which would provide a German premium solution,” he said.
VW is making an unprecedented push to dethrone Tesla as the leader of premium e-cars while at the same time keeping at bay traditional rivals spanning Toyota Motor to General Motors VW’s mass-market electric tech will debut with the company’s namesake brand’s ID. 3 hatchback in November.
Deals to share electric know-how are already advancing, with Ford agreeing to use VW’s main e-car platform for a high-volume car in Europe. The pact is worth $10-20 billion over six years and the manufacturers are in talks over adding a second model that would be based on VW technology.