Ford and Volkswagen are further in their alliance to develop and share costs on electric cars and autonomous technology.

Ford is to be the first manufacturer outside of the VW Group to use Volkswagen’s dedicated new electric platform (known as MEB), which underpins new models such as the Volkswagen ID.3 and Seat el-Born. As part of this alliance, Ford will take this platform and design and produce at least one mass-market EV for Europe – such is the expense of building platforms for cars.

The new EV is expected to materialise in 2023, with Ford expecting to produce 600,000 new EVs using this architecture in six years. A further all-new Ford model for Europe is under discussion, too, the manufacturer has said.

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Autonomous-driving is also a big part of this extended alliance. Ford has already invested in driverless car technology provider Argo AI, and now Volkswagen will plough even further into the tech start-up to the value of $7bn (circa. £5.6bn).

By investing into the autonomous technology firm, the two manufacturers will be able to integrate independent self-driving technology into their vehicles. The two firms will hold an equal stake (not disclosed) but between them they will own a ‘substantial majority’ in Argo AI.

Herbert Diess, chief executive of Volkswagen, said: “Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate."

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In January, the two firms announced the start of the new global alliance, which would see Ford and VW sharing van and pick-up expertise. This partnership is said to be “on track", with Ford developing a Ranger-sized pick-up that’s likely to arrive in 2022, alongside larger commercial vans. Volkswagen will meanwhile develop and build a city van primarily for Europe.