Las Vegas – In the wake of diesel-gate, Volkswagen is concentrating more effort on their plug-in electric vehicles. Announced at an event after the doors to CES were closed, VW revealed the BUDD-e Concept, an all-electric compact crossover that pays homage to the Bulli, the nickname in Germany for the original Type 2 bus. Only today’s interpretation of the VW microbus is emissions-free, has a range of over 370 miles, and is connected to the Internet with the ability to link Smart Home and Smart Car technology.
The BUDD-e concept is built on VW’s all-new Modular Electric-Platform (MEB), which is designed specifically for plug-in vehicles in similar fashion as the Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept. [https://tflstudios.wpengine.com/2016/01/faraday-future-ffzero1-concept-unveiled-video/] The concept demonstrates what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. Before the end of the decade, the new MEB platform will enable VW to have all-electric production vehicles with a range that matches a typical gasoline-powered car without waiting hours to recharge. New efficient battery technology means plug-in <> could recharge 80 percent of their capacity in roughly 15 minutes.
Mobility and connectivity are two areas that are becoming more integrated. BUDD-e features a mobile interface that connects to the Internet. Accessing information on-the-go is one of the concept’s capabilities, seamlessly communicating with your Smart Home or Smart Office is another advanced feature built into the microbus of the 21st century.
What makes the interior clean, simple and user-friendly is the absence of buttons and switches. The traditional distinction between driver instruments and controls, and center console stack with infotainment and HVAC controls has been merged into a single information hub. All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated by gesture control, touchscreen, or voice control. The system can also detect the passenger giving the commands and respond accordingly.
If it goes into production — the microbus could be Volkswagen’s first long-distance electric car, alongside the Audi, Porsche, and VW Phaeton luxury cars the company confirmed over the past few months.
Check out this TFLcar video of the VW BUDD-e debut at CES:
Editor’s note: the BUDD-e is capable of a range up to 373 miles per charge, which is based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). During the media preview, Dr. Diess mentioned that the range was 233 miles per charge, which is based on an EPA drive cycle that is traditionally more rigorous (thus resulting in lower range estimates).