The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will license its all-electric MEB platform for use by German start-up e.Go Mobile. The platform, which will underpin Volkswagen’s ID hatchback when it arrives in international markets later this year, will be used by e.Go Mobile to build a fun, new all-electric car.
The partnership between the two German brands was announced at the Geneva motor show, where VW has the ID Buggy concept on display. The model is designed to showcase the flexibility of the MEB platform and how it could be used by small-scale companies.
e.Go was founded in 2015 and is currently developing a small four-seat EV city car called 'Life'. The all-electric car has been designed to make extensive use of off-the-shelf parts from outside suppliers, such as a Bosch-sourced electric motor, to reduce development costs. There’s a new longer version of the e.Go Life called the Life L, which is currently being developed. E.Go boss, Gunther Schuh told our sister publication Autocar UK that the Life L would be underpinned by an entry-level version of the MEB architecture and use their own distinctive aluminium spaceframe body and plastic panels on top.
Schuh said, “We can contribute e.Go’s agile product development and our strength in building small-series vehicles,” adding “the MEB platform will make us faster, more robust and cost-efficient.”
The start-up will incorporate several MEB components into its small 3.35m-long Life but the car is too small to be wholly based on the architecture. The larger L model will be smaller than the VW ID hatchback, and this means there will be no overlap between the e.Go and VW models in terms of size.
e.Go is also understood to be one of the companies that will make a production version of the VW ID Buggy concept. This would see e.Go engineer and build the car for VW using its expertise as a low-volume car making specialist. The ID Buggy is one of three models that VW is assessing for low-volume production.
Schuh, who used to do consultancy work for VW earlier in his career, added: “It’s not that complicated to build an electric car but it is difficult to build an affordable electric car. But an electric car must be emotion, not just rational. It’s not rational to have a buggy but you want one and can’t live without one when you’ve had one.”
Schuh revealed at the 2019 Geneva motor show that VW Group personally approached him a year ago to see if he would be interested in combining his technology with their own, and after deciding it was possible, they spent six months working with the giant to pass its competency tests.