The vehicle is conceptual for now but will shape VW's design ethos in the future

VW unveils electric update to classic minivan design

Volkswagen (VW) has unveiled an electric update to its classic microbus model called the BUDD-e that features an ‘infotainment centre’ with a large display.

Although the BUDD-e is just a conceptual prototype at this stage, VW said it serves to ‘illustrate the potential future direction of the brand’.

The exterior is an update of VW’s classic minivan design and is touted as the first vehicle based on the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) that is designed for plug-in vehicles. The battery is intended to give drivers a travel range up to 373 miles.

The new MEB platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics.

In addition to their space, MEB vehicles also come equipped with new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems in addition to safety assistance systems.

The automaker also says the car will integrate with the internet of things in order to heavily synchronise with smart devices in the home.

The vehicle features front and rear motors to power all four wheels that should allow it travel at top speeds of 93 mph.

VW has also designed an infotainment centre that is supposed to offer route information and vehicle statistics, but can also be used as a video and music player.

A 12.3-inch curved display with a surface consisting of three individually configurable sections is centrally positioned, right in front of the driver.

BUDD-e is supposedly a demonstration of what electric vehicles could be like in 2019 and VW says that the battery should be able to charge to 80 per cent of capacity in roughly 15 minutes by then.

VW’s renewed focus on electric vehicles comes as no surprise in the wake of the worst scandal in the company’s history. In recent months the company has had to contend with environmental agencies in the US and Europe after it was found to be installing devices into its diesel vehicles to cheat pollution emissions tests.

The US Justice Department recently filed a civil lawsuit against VW for violating the Clean Air Act that could cost the company billions of dollars.

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