Volkswagen Group is opening up its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) for use by other car manufacturers and 3rd-parties. The MEB is a ‘platform’ or engineering architecture which has been developed by VW Group specifically for electric vehicles.

It says the purpose is to achieve a significant reduction in the cost of e-mobility through the widest possible deployment of the MEB and the associated economies of scale, thus enabling broad access to individual mobility to continue in future. The Volkswagen Group is currently projecting a first wave of some 15m pure electric vehicles based on the MEB.

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.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said: “Our Modular Transverse Toolkit proved we are platform experts. Over 100m of our vehicles are based on that particular platform. With the MEB platform, we are now transferring this successful concept to the electric era and opening it to other carmakers. The MEB is to establish itself as the standard for e-mobility. Based on the MEB, we will make individual mobility CO2-neutral, safe, comfortable and accessible to as many people as possible. Because the MEB even makes the cost-efficient production of emotional small-series vehicles like the ID Buggy possible. I am delighted that e.GO has become the first partner to use our electric platform as the basis for a jointly-defined vehicle project.”

Gunther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG, added: “We are extremely pleased the Volkswagen Group offered us this cooperation. We can contribute e.GO’s agile product development and our strength in building small-series vehicles based on extruded aluminium spaceframes. And the MEB platform will make us faster, more robust and cost-efficient.”

Volkswagen says that 2019 is a key year in its electric offensive, with the company stepping up the pace even further in the coming years. In Geneva, the Volkswagen Group is showcasing several electric vehicles and studies, such as the Audi e-tron GT, Skoda Vision iV, SEAT Urban Car and the ID Buggy.

Volkswagen is investing almost EUR44bn (US$50bn)in electrification, digitalisation, mobility services and autonomous driving through 2023, of which EUR30bn is earmarked for e-mobility alone. Electric vehicles are expected to account for approximately one quarter of the model portfolio by 2025.

e.GO Mobile AG is a pioneer in e-mobility and was founded by Prof Dr Gunther Schuh in 2015. Cutting-edge projects have been developed at the RWTH Aachen Campus. Agile teams at e.GO work on a variety of cost-effective and customer-focused electric vehicles for short-haul traffic.