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With more countries lobbying to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the near future, the urgency to develop electric cars is now more widely felt than ever before. With that, the Volkswagen Group is looking to share key technologies from its upcoming Porsche and Audi electric cars with other automakers, a move that will help the firm build scale and spread development costs, Automotive News Europe reports.
Audi’s head of development for joint engineering project, Ulrich Widmann said: “There’s definitely interest. 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.”
For now, Widmann won’t identify the car brands that are interested in adopting the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform, but Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Dean said smaller luxury brands such as Aston Martin, McLaren, and Maserati could be among those. In fact, Dean even said one cannot “rule out BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which would provide a German premium solution.”
The PPE is a modular electric platform that’s being jointly developed by Audi and Porsche for their full-sized luxury sedan and SUV models, and the architecture is said to be ready for deployment as early as next year. The PPE boasts features such as torque vectoring and rear-axle steering, as well as an 800-volt electrical system with ultra fast-charging of up to 350 kW.
Earlier in July, Volkswagen and Ford have already signed an agreement for the latter to use VW’s mass-market MEB platform. The first production EV to be based on this is the ID.3 Hatch, which gets up to 550 km of driving range (WLTP standard) from the largest onboard 77 kWh battery pack option.
The VW-Ford pact is said to be worth between US$10 billion (RM42 billion) and US$20 billion (RM84 billion) over six years, and the two companies are already in talks to add a second EV model that would also be based on VW’s technology. Watch this space for more updates.