Diesels are out at VW and electric microbuses are in.
When we wrote about Volkswagen’s Budd-e concept, which debuted at CES 2016, we lamented the fact that it wouldn’t see production. That seems to have changed. Volkswagen’s Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electronic development and the person behind the futuristic microbus, spoke to CAR Magazine about the concept’s future. “You will see a car that looks a lot like this, on the MEB platform, reach production. I can’t say exactly when, but 2020 or thereabouts,” he said.
That’s not exactly a 100 percent confirmation but it is about as close to a green light without actually being one as is possible. Of course Volkswagen needs all the green cars and good press it can get as it’s still trying to come back from the whole Dieselgate debacle. The Budd-e and the MEB platform are a great way to gain some goodwill. The VW microbus is one of the most iconic cars ever built and if the automaker can really squeeze 373 miles out of its 101-kWh battery pack like it claimed at CES then it should have no trouble moving units.
This is, of course, also a big chance to showcase MEB, its modular electric platform complete with a flatpack battery and two electric motors (one for each axle). 2020 is still a few years away and a lot could change until then, but between this and the Tiguan GTE Active Concept the future of green VWs doesn’t exactly look like it’ll suck.