The first electric VAN by VW is the upcoming 2017 Volkswagen BUDD-e. W0e all know that VW is currently in a rather big trouble after some of their diesel-powered cars failed to meet the emission standards after the troublesome software was disabled. In order to take people’s attention from that problem, they started to develop and improve their hybrid and electric cars and they even went to the extent of releasing an entirely new platform.
The first car to use their all new MEB, or modular electric toolkit, platform is the 2017 Volkswagen BUDD-e, a rather interesting electric minivan which is based on the crossover version of the already mentioned platform.
Unusual Design – Interior & Exterior
In terms of design, the 2017 Volkswagen BUDD-e is being based on the Microbus concept van released all the way back in 2001. The car’s front end is similar to that concept with very slim headlights, c-shaped LED fog-lamps, a large grille with a large VW logo. Also, the back is quite similar as well but here VW went a bit further and installed LED tail lights which continue upwards on the D-pillars for a really nice effect.
The wheels are very slim 18 inch rims wrapped in low-rolling resistance tires, all meant to allow for the best possible efficiency. The car offers sliding rear doors and regular front doors in order to improve access inside the cabin.
The interior is not as impressive as we’ve hoped and we have to say that it will likely be discontinued altogether before releasing the production model. The dashboard is minimalistic and it offers all the information the driver needs but it hasn’t too much character. Also, the seats might be great for a concept but the production model is very likely going to get a more conventional arrangement.
Under the Hood & Specs
Engine wise, the 2017 Volkswagen BUDD-e is using two electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the back. Between these, inside the chassis, there is a massive 101 kWh battery-pack which is actually expected to be further improved until the car will be officially available for sale. The total output of the two electric motors is unknown at this point but a future crossover could offer anything between 200 and 250 horsepower and as much as 300 lb-ft of torque.
The massive battery pack will suffice for more than 350 miles of all electric range which should be enough for most, especially since the car will support the same kind of fast-charging as the Porsche Mission E, meaning it will be able to recharge more than 80% in around 15 minutes.
Platform & Features
Unfortunately, the MEB platform will not support a range-extender petrol or diesel engine, meaning that the car will have to depend only on its battery-pack. While this has been proven to work with Tesla, VW would definitely have to do something with their fast-charging system before releasing the car on the market. Also, considering the platform is scalable, we can expect more powerful and efficient cars being based on the same MEB as the BUDD-e.
2017 Volkswagen BUDD-e Price
The car is actually expected to go on sale by the end of 2020 and it should be released on the same platform as the current concept. The best part about this platform is that it seems that it is scalable, so VW will be able to build much bigger cars such as the Touareg, all on the same electric platform. Also, the engines, battery packs and even running gear can all be changed depending on the end product.
The price for such a car is still unknown but considering how much development work they did, a future production BUDD-e could start at roughly $40,000 which would still be pretty good considering what it will be able to offer.