In the early 2000’s Volkswagen teased Microbus fans with the prospect of launching an all-electric VW van. That dream just got a whole lot closer, as Volkswagen has unveiled a modern take on its iconic microbus at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The new BUDD-e has an estimated driving range of 373 miles on a single charge, and its battery can recharge up to 80% in 15 minutes flat.
The BUDD-e concept is based VW’s new Modular Electric (MEB) Platform, which is designed to accommodate electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. The efficient design of the new platform will enable VW’s future electric cars to have driving ranges closer to standard gas-powered cars. According to VW, the MEB platform could be used for a long-driving-range electric vehicle by the end of the decade.
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Compared to VW’s Microbus concept that debuted over 15 years ago, the BUDD-e forgoes retro quirks for a thoroughly modern design inside and out. The interior features digital screens instead of traditional mirrors, switches and buttons. Gesture controls make it easy to operate the infotainment system and even the sliding doors.
VW has not announced any production plans for the BUDD-e concept, but some reports suggest that it could enter production in 2017.
All images via Volkswagen