Between consumer desire for larger EVs with substantial cargo space and nostalgia for the classic VW bus, an electric van from Volkswagen could surely be a huge hit. But don’t pack up the surfboards and granola bars just yet – VW’s Budd-e concept, which attracted a lot of attention at CES, is a showpiece for future technology, not a near-production vehicle, as VW spokesman Darryll Harrison told Autoblog.
VW built the Budd-e using a new scalable architecture and EV tech that was all developed in-house. The dream van features a skateboard chassis, two electric motors and a flat battery pack believed to have a capacity of around 101 kWh.
VW has bandied about some impressive range numbers – 373 miles on the European cycle (about 233 miles the way the US EPA figures such things). However, as Autoblog reports, these numbers don’t represent current technology, but rather VW’s projections about battery technology a few years in the future.
More range necessarily means faster charging capability, and in this area the Volkswagen Group has made substantial progress. Porsche has developed an 800-volt charging system (as well as wireless charging) for the Mission E concept, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. If this system goes into production, VW is likely to use it in other EVs.
800 volts is double the voltage of the current CCS standard, and would allow charging a vehicle like the Budd-e to 80 percent of battery capacity in 30 minutes.
“We expect that the current CCS standard will be upgraded to 800 volts,” Volkmar Tanneberger, VW’s global head of electric and electronic development, told Green Car Reports. “Of course it’s a question of standardization…Porsche is forcing that along in Europe and in Germany, and we will use the same technology.”