As Volkswagen began its European recall of hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles with defeat devices, it’s also pushing forward with publicity for its forthcoming electric vehicles. A company official recently made a comment to a reporter at Car Magazine to indicate that Volkswagen would be moving forward with a concept design for an electric van that was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
According to Car Magazine, Volkswagen’s head of electronic development, Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, said that by 2020, Volkswagen would start serial production of an electric van using Volkswagen’s “Modular Electric Toolkit” (abbreviated MEB from the German) called the BUDD-e. “You will see a car that looks a lot like this,” Tanneberger said, referring to the car’s “microbus” design.
In a press release at the beginning of January, Volkswagen said that its BUDD-e concept car had a range of 233 miles, based on a drive-cycle estimate using the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines, and incorporated a flat battery with a motor at the front and rear axles. The concept car envisioned a high level of Internet connectivity, with touch panels instead of buttons and digital screens instead of analog mirrors. At the time, Volkswagen said its MEB platform would be the basis for its electric vehicles by 2019, but the BUDD-e vehicle was merely referred to as a concept.