Volkswagen is moving toward electrification and away from diesel power in an aggressive way with its concept battery-electric microbus appearing at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and the expected showing of a plug-in hybrid Tiguan at the Detroit auto show.
The BUDD-e EV microbus is expected to have an estimated range of 233 miles, and will be more thoroughly connected with its surroundings than any car before it, according to VW. BUDD-e would connect its occupants with a smart home or office.
VW's BUDD-e includes touch and gesture control, individual displays that blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors.
The concept vehicle is meant to demonstrate what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. The time required to charge the batteries to 80% of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 30 minutes by then, according to a VW release.
BUDD-e is the first concept car developed by VW that is supported by the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). The platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics.
The MEB helps create a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored for the integration of compact electric motors and highly-efficient batteries. The 101 kilowatt-per-hour battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle.
The front and rear motors power all four wheels and enable a top speed of 93 mph. The concept van is 181 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 72.2 inches high.
Volkswagen is also expected to unveil a battery-powered SUV at the Detroit auto show on Monday, Reuters is reporting. The car will reportedly be a plug-in hybrid version of the Tiguan, the company’s top-selling SUV.