Geneva Motor Show LIVE: Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept image

The electric Concept van showcases the new MEB electric platform developed by Volkswagen and offers a glimpse of next-generation connectivity and infotainment systems.

Inspired by the iconic lines of classic Volkswagen vans, the electric BUDD-e concept – first showed at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – brings the microbus into the 21st century. It is the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group that is underpinned by the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) that is designed specifically for plug-in vehicles. With BUDD-e, the German automaker wants to show us what electric mobility could be like by 2019. VW promises the MEB platform will enable the future cars to have a pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by the end of the decade. Power comes from a 101 kWh battery pack delivering electricity to electric motors on each axle, while maximum speed is about 93 miles per hour and a single charge will do for a range of 373 miles.

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Inside, BUDD-e offers a glimpse of tech-features that could sneak into some of the upcoming production cars. There is e-Mirror, that integrates the displays of the digital wing mirrors. The images come from two external cameras, which feed into multifunction displays. When stationary, the driver and front-seat passenger can also use these panels to open and close the electric doors. The display on the driver’s side is 7.9 inches in size and the front-seat passenger has a 5.9-inch screen. The multifunction steering wheel 3.0 is also to be found, which is completely switchless and could be accessed via haptic feedback, while individual functions are activated by pressure, or through a swipe gesture. BUDD-e has integrated the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, allowing you to control home functions from the car, and vice-versa.