Volkswagen was late to the electric vehicle innovation race, and not entirely a willing participant. In 2015, as Nissan launched an upgraded version of its best-selling EV and one year before Tesla launched its own mass-market EV, Volkswagen was found to be cheating emissions tests of its "clean diesel" vehicles – the linchpin of its low-emissions vehicle strategy. While other OEMs had years of experience designing EVs, Volkswagen would have to start from zero or risk losing its position as the world's leading automaker. The company responded quickly by initiating design efforts for the Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB), which would serve as a dedicated powertrain architecture across a variety of models, and thus, from one core platform, provide a route to many EV models quickly.
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