Rumors of an alleged partnership between two auto-giants appear to position them in a David and Goliath battle for a market share of renewable-energy cars. The electric vehicle market is saturated with a wide variety of offerings and is already home to some heavy-hitting EV manufacturers like Tesla to compete with. A proposed partnership between Ford and Volkswagen is creating a buzz as a dangerous combination that everyone has their eyes on.
“Exploratory talks” are the official press release at the moment, according to Reuters, and little is set in stone. The nature of the partnership or its primary focus is a bit ambiguous at the moment but seems to focus on self-driving technology in addition to electric vehicles, and it appears to have a commercial vehicle market in its sights.
Billions of dollars could be on the line as a collaborative effort could mean the two companies open the potential to save large portions of their R&D budget by combining efforts and sharing technologies. This distribution of liabilities between the two massive auto manufacturers will allow them to push boundaries further as a union that could have been foreseeable as a solo venture by either one of them.
Volkswagen is already investing approximately $38 billion into autonomous driving and e-mobility technologies that should be fully-seen by 2022, so it’s clear that the German auto group is looking into the future with a clean footprint and cutting-edge tech in mind. The partnership between the two indicates that more than just a renewable legacy is on the minds of the juggernauts. It’s not a question of if anymore, but rather a question of when; when the proliferation of the electric car will ellipse internal-combustion power as a propulsion method of choice. It’s on the horizon, and the details of Ford’s $4 billion self-driving vehicle program indicates the domestic automaker is on board with the shift. They already have $1 billion wrapped up in the acquisition of the Pittsburg-based self-driving startup Argo AI, but that 2017 acquisition appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.
The bold words of Hollywood A-lister Bryan Cranston in a Ford commercial, “Talk doesn’t get things done; building does,” said pretty much all you need to know about Ford’s thoughts on EV and autonomous-driving tech – they’re on board and full-steam ahead.