German start-up e.Go Mobile has become the first company to secure the rights to use the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform as the basis for its own electric vehicles.
Volkswagen is gearing up to launch the first vehicle based on the MEB electric architecture, the ID hatch, later this year, and has been open about its desire to provide the platform to other firms to build vehicles on.
The tie-up was announced at the Geneva motor show, where Volkswagen is showing the ID Buggy concept, which is designed to showcase the flexibility of the MEB platform and how it could be used by small-scale firms.
e.Go, based in Aachen, Germany, was founded in 2015, and is currently developing a small four-seat EV city car called the Life, which has been designed to make extensive use of off-the-shelf parts from outside suppliers, including Bosch for its electric motor, to reduce development costs. The starting price is €15,900 (£13,600) including taxes but other versions are offered with greater range, including a 60kW version for €19,900 (£17,100).
e.Go is aiming to develop a new longer version of the e.Go Life called the Life L that would use an entry-level version of the MEB architecture as it’s base and the company’s distinctive aluminium spaceframe body and plastic panels on top of the VW running gear, company boss Gunther Schuh told Autocar at the Geneva motor show.
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.”
To that end, the company will incorporate several MEB components into its small 3.35-metre-long Life city car but that car is too small to be wholly based on the MEB architecture. The larger L model will also still be smaller than the VW ID hatchback, meaning there will be no overlap between e.Go and VW models in size.