Platform sharing is standard procedure at the Volkswagen Group, and there's no reason why that shouldn't continue with electric cars. Sure enough, Porsche and Audi are planning a shared electric-car platform that will underpin multiple models beginning in 2021.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed the plan in an interview with German publication Stuttgarter Zeitung. The shared platform is separate from the automakers' existing electric-car development efforts, and is intended to cut costs, the executives said. Porsche's Blume estimated that the joint effort will be 30 percent cheaper.
Audi is hiring 550 people to work on the project, while Porsche will contribute 300, Blume said. Audi intends to build two sedans based on the new platform at its Neckarsulm, Germany, plant, and two SUVs in Ingolstadt. Porsche will build one model at the Leipzig, Germany, plant that currently builds the Macan.
Both Porsche and Audi are preparing to launch electric cars that were developed independently. Audi's e-tron crossover is expected to launch later this year, while Porsche's Mission E sedan will arrive before the end of the decade. Both models are an acknowledgement of Tesla's success in the luxury-car sector, and of stricter emissions standards that will soon take effect in key markets.
More broadly, the Volkswagen Group is preparing for a mass influx of electric models. The company plans to offer an all-electric or hybrid version of every model across its many brands by 2030, and will launch 50 all-electric models by 2025. In addition to Audi and Porsche models, that contingent will include some lower-priced models from the main Volkswagen brand, such as a production version of the Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz concept. Because electric cars won't have much of an impact if most people can't afford them.