"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," Tanneberger said to Car.
The exec cautions that the production Budd-e would not replace VW's current vans. "The California and Transporter will continue separately as combustion engines," Tanneberger told Car.
The MEB platform is tailor-made for compact EVs and should allow VW to introduce a range of efficient models. The Budd-e highlights the new chassis' ability to fit flat batteries along the entire floor, which gives the rectangular concept an estimated 233-mile range on the EPA cycle.
The Budd-e also shows VW is considering the van of the future, while still remembering its past. The concept's slab sides and upright rear evoke the company's classic models, but the more aerodynamic front end would aid efficiency. The interior also mixes modern and vintage by combining a two-spoke steering wheel with a bank of display screens. A production Budd-e isn't quite the retro-modern Microbus revival that some customers want, but it updates some of that iconic vehicle's usable ethos for a greener generation.