Range Extended: Volkswagen Auto Group Announces MEB+ Platform

Volkswagen Auto Group has plans to extend the range of its Modular Electric Drive System (MEB) platforms for electric vehicles.

The plan is not only to increase the range but also cut charging times -- and the platform will be renamed to MEB+.

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Fisker Ocean to Utilize VW's MEB Platform… Probably

Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Inc., has announced a deal reached with Volkswagen that allows him to use the German company’s MEB architecture to build the all-electric Ocean crossover. While it seems like the platform is going to turn up everywhere before long, the deal hasn’t actually been made official.

Neither Fisker nor VW feels comfortable saying the arrangement had been finalized.

But that couldn’t contain Henrik’s excitement. The Fisker Inc. founder was on social media this week proclaiming the upcoming Ocean would start at just $29,999. Mathematicians will notice this is less than $30,000 and actually pretty damn cheap for an electric crossover, especially one that’s supposed to contain so much luxury and sustainability (the latest in a long line of empty terms used by the industry). The series of 9s at the end of Fisker’s proposed pricing should have tipped you off that there might be some light shenanigans afoot.

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Rumor Mill: A Baby Ford Mustang Mach-E, With Help From Volkswagen?

Suffice it to say this rumor won’t go over well with TTAC readers, assuming we’ve gauged their interests and allegiances right.

While it’s well known that Ford has designs on alliance partner’s Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture, a product that may spring forth from the alliance’s R&D loins might cause Ford naysayers to double down on their criticism of the Blue Oval’s product direction.

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Ford to Use VW Electric Vehicle Platform in Europe, Truck Collaboration on Track

Developing electric cars for scale in Europe takes time, money, resources and commitment. Volkswagen has the new, advanced MEB architecture designed just for that purpose. There are other automakers, though, who need to have an option. For Ford, that answer was simple. They already are working with VW on several projects, so it makes sense to expand that relationship into platform sharing.

In an announcement that also included VW’s investment into Argo AI, Volkswagen committed to providing 600,000 MEB units to Ford for a new electric vehicle that’ll be manufactured and sold within Europe. That includes all of the electric components, according to Dr. Herbert Diess, VW’s CEO. Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett said that it would be “built Ford proud.”

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VW Group Admits Developing Affordable EVs Will Be Difficult

Even with affordable electric vehicles cropping up on the global market, their budgetary nature is relative. While the industry promises that EVs will offer the world an affordable, mechanically simple and green alternative to traditional internal combustion models, they’ve yet to deliver. That’s not to suggest e-cars are failures, just that the technologies involved are still maturing.

Battery prices will continue to decline and eventually governments won’t always need to incentivize EV purchases through tax credits. But we’ve yet to reach the point where it makes just as much financial sense to buy a small EV as it would a gasoline-powered econobox. That could soon change.

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Volkswagen Doubles Down on Its Lofty EV Promises

If the industry’s Magic 8 Ball worked with 100 percent accuracy, no vehicle would ever land with a disappointing thud. Sales projections would always be on target, and smooth sailing would be assured.

Alas, predicting consumer appetite and market forces is never that easy, but Volkswagen feels confident it can beat its already ambitious electric vehicle targets, both in terms of models offered and vehicles bought. It’s so confident, in fact, that it’s officially raising its own bar.

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Digging Deeper Into Volkswagen's MEB Platform Plans

Volkswagen walked journalists through its much-hyped electrification strategy at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, giving the automotive media a preview of the automaker’s plans.

MEB, which is an acronym for the German Modularer Elektrobaukasten, is the platform underpinning the company’s push from internal-combustion engines to electrified vehicles. The company intends to roll out 50 battery-electric vehicles and 30 plug-in hybrids across Volkswagen Auto Group’s 12 global brands between this year and 2025 as part of a larger strategy to field 300 electrified vehicle models across the dozen brands by 2030.

That’s obviously an aggressive strategy — one requiring a closer look.

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As It Spreads Its Platform Pitch, Volkswagen Has a Buggy It Wants You to Think About

After Volkswagen strategy boss Michael Jost told a German newspaper Wednesday of his company’s plan to offer up its MEB electric vehicle platform to anyone who wants it, VW further disseminated the message on Thursday — making the pitch that the automaker now offers “e-joint ventures.”

Cute, but also potentially lucrative for automakers not interested in developing their own EV architecture. Or not able. Meanwhile, as a hint at what the MEB platform is capable of, Volkswagen issued a teaser for a culture-soaked model with a modern twist: an electric dune buggy, also riding atop an MEB.

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'You Get a Platform, and YOU Get a Platform…' - Volkswagen, Possibly

Volkswagen could be on the verge of going Oprah, tossing electric MEB platforms to adoring fans like a pile of Pontiac G6s.

After forging an alliance with Ford — a partnership that might result in MEB-based Blue Oval vehicles — the automaker is reportedly looking at making its EV architecture available to anyone who wants it.

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After the Mission E, Porsche to Develop an Electric Supercar Platform for Sharing

Porsche is apparently working on a new supercar platform for itself. However, both Audi and Lamborghini are said to be able to get in on the action, too. The platform is an entirely electric one, dubbed SPE, and it’s to be part of Volkswagen Group’s “third-wave” shift towards a fully electrified fleet.

However, the platform’s existence was only officially mentioned in VW’s capital markets presentation from November. The report shows SPE coming into play after the solidification of the initial MEB platform and the establishment of VW’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture — intended for luxury segment models after 2021. As the third phase of the group’s electrification strategy, SPE-based vehicles likely won’t enter production until 2025.

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Volkswagen Finally Confirms Production of 'Microbus-styled' Vehicle

After countless false starts and endless teasing, Volkswagen seems prepared to deliver on a modern-day microbus. While VW’s T platform is still in existence, the Type 2 that we all know and love died in the late 1970s — though society since developed a deep-seated nostalgia as we collectively forgot how disgusting and impractical real-world hippie culture actually was.

The world has asked for a throwback model for quite some time, something Volkswagen appeased with a 15-year stretch of concept cars, culminating in the 2017 I.D. Buzz revealed in Detroit in January. Then, earlier this year, gossip circulated indicating the Buzz might actually enter production, using the company’s MEB modular electric-vehicle architecture. But those were just rumors, right?

Apparently not. Volkswagen’s brand head, Herbert Diess, confirmed production for the electrified box last week using some definitive language.

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Volkswagen's BUDD-e is Still the Microbus They'll Never Build

UPDATE: Volkswagen says the range is 233 miles on the EPA cycle, 373 miles on the New European Driving Cycle.

Volkswagen unleashed its futuristic Microbus concept car in Las Vegas on Tuesday, complete with expressive face, connectedness to the “Internet of Things,” and gesture control everywhere, but only its bare bones are rooted in any real future for the automaker.

The 2016 Microbus, which is “dubbed BUDD-e,” is the latest and perhaps most significant iteration of the Microbus because of its timing. This week, the U.S. Justice Department announced it filed a $40 billion lawsuit against the automaker for cheating emissions tests.

In Las Vegas, Volkswagen showed off its modular electric powertrain architecture underpinning the Microbus that’ll almost certainly make it to production in one, or several cars — just probably not this one.

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  • MaintenanceCosts Compromised safety test results and minivans do not go well together.A shame as the looks are neat (the last interesting van) and the CVT/V6 powertrain is better than a lot of people give it credit for.
  • Tassos Oh yeah! Great Catch! All my life I was looking for such an UTTER PIECE OF CRAP from the CRAPPY 70s and 80s, when ALL Cars were Crappy... at least all DOMESTIC cars were. Seriously?Maybe next time you will outdo yourself and dig up the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses the Second.
  • SCE to AUX If Lexus badge-engineered a Camry in 1977, this is what you'd get.27 HP/liter - wow... my new 2.5T has 112 HP/liter and many engines are much higher. Malaise Era, indeed.GM died by a thousand cuts, and this car is definitely one of them - 100% mediocrity.
  • CoastieLenn I like the ergonomics and the looks of this better than any other minivan of it's day, but I can hear it's CVT failing thru the pictures.
  • Tassos I'll give it a look but doubt it will even come close to the EQS.