Volkswagen BUDD-e previews vans of tomorrow

  • Four-wheel drive electric van
  • 80 percent charge achieved in just 30 minutes
  • A lot of technology to feature in vans of the future

Volkswagen has offered the world an insight into vans of the future with the VW BUDD-e concept van. It is the first concept vehicle based on the new MEB (Modular Electric Drive) architecture, and its two electric motors power all four wheels.

Technology has progressed a lot in commercial vehicles over the past 10 years; many of the latest generation of vans are fitted with touchscreen displays, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance. However, it’s very difficult to predict what the next ‘must-have’ gadgets will be.

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Thankfully, Volkswagen has given us insights into the light commercial vehicle of 2019. Not surprisingly, the vehicle is all-electric and showcases a number of innovative and practical features.

Two electric motors

The BUDD-e is Volkswagen’s first vehicle to feature the MEB, which means the chassis has been developed specifically for electric vehicles and it can therefore house a larger battery. It can store up to 92.4kWh of energy; enough to power the BUDD-e for 331 miles under combined NEDC conditions.

Volkswagen BUDD-e

One of the many unique things about the BUDD-e is the fact that there are two electric motors; one for the front exle and one for the rear. The front wheels are powered by the smaller, 148bhp (200Nm) motor, while the rear wheels receive a 168bhp (290Nm) motor.

These high-performance motors return a top speed of 112mph and a 0-60mph acceleration time of just 6.9 seconds. Charging times have also been cut; a 150kW DC connection will give an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

A mobile home

Of course, what really sets the Volkswagen BUDD-e apart is its broad range of comfort and driver assist systems. There is a new, human-machine interface, an ‘Internet of Things’ – a system that allows you to control household devices from your car – a ‘switchless’ multifunction steering wheel that operates through touch feedback, and gesture control, which allows people to open the door with the swipe of a hand.

Volkswagen BUDD-e

Voice control is nothing new to cars; they’ve been featuring in some vehicles for over 10 years now but the BUDD-e takes it to the next level. It now recognises ‘natural speech’ so you can ask say “turn the heat up please” and the system will warm the cabin, and if someone in the back says “it’s very hot here”, the system will lower the temperature in that area.

When will VW launch these gadgets?

Of course, the BUDD-e is just a concept at the moment, but every piece of technology we see in vans today also started out in the same way. There is a lot of useful kit packed into the Volkswagen BUDD-e, and we imagine that a lot will be featuring in vans of the not-too-distant future. 

Volkswagen BUDD-e