VW has committed more than $50 billion to develop more than 50 pure battery-electric vehicles by 2025. They would be sold through the German automaker’s dozen different passenger car brands, including Porsche and Audi, as well as the flagship Volkswagen marque.
But the majority of the products will target mainstream markets using a high-volume vehicle platform known as the MEB. “This is meant to be a car for the millions, not millionaires,” Matthew Renna, vice president of e-Mobility for Volkswagen’s North American Region, said during a media briefing at last week’s Chicago Auto Show.
Ford was itself an early proponent of electrification but initially focused on hybrids, plug-in hybrids and relatively short-range BEVs. It now plans to introduce its first long-range model in 2020, and then expand its line-up over the course of the coming decade.
While VW is primarily targeting low-cost, passenger car segments with its battery-car program, “Ford’s bet is on commercial vehicles and performance vehicles,” said Farley.
There is still the possibility they could eventually find common ground, “if we could find platforms where it makes sense,” said Farley, but, at least for now, “We’re in different timing.”
Asked to respond to the Ford executive’s remarks, a spokesman for VW said the company had no comment.