Volkswagen: BUDD-e Fascinates China

JUN 17 2016 BY MARK KANE 15

Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept

Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept

Volkswagen happily announced that the “BUDD-e fascinates China“.  Translation be damned.

The concept electric car that made its worldwide debut earlier this year has range of up to 533 kilometres (330 miles – NEDC) on a 101 kWh battery.

However, to eventually see a production model of the BUDD-e, it would need to be built on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), which won’t be ready until 2020 (maybe 2019).

VW has been “on and off” with the BUDD-e’s production status, but recent reports suggest it (or a close version based on the concept) will indeed be produced.

Volkswagen intends to introduce a total of seven all-electric and plug-in hybrid models in China by 2020, so perhaps this focused introduction of the BUDD-e in the country signals that all-electric utility vehicle could be lucky #7.

“The Chinese are fascinated by this Volkswagen, which draws visually on the legendary ‘Bulli’ and thus forms a bridge between the origins of the brand and a time far into the future. BUDD-e is the first Volkswagen based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). Approaching 2020 is when we will see the launch of the MEB models – powerful electric cars with ranges at the level of today’s petrol counterparts. In the case of the 2016 CES show car that’s 533 kilometres.

In China the people are very open to driving electric cars. The environmental conditions in the big cities there can be significantly improved in future through developments such as zero-emission, electrically powered vehicles. The state and major municipalities are promoting electric motoring through a variety of measures. One example: in megacities such as Beijing (21.5 million inhabitants, third-largest city on earth) or Shanghai (at 24 million inhabitants the world’s largest) the number of newly issued vehicle registration numbers is being limited – however, without a registration number it is not possible to licence a new vehicle. The wait is therefore very long. However, purchasers of models with plug-in hybrid, electric or hydrogen drive systems receive the coveted registration numbers very much more quickly. The only condition: the vehicles, called New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in China, must be made locally in the country.

Volkswagen is pushing ahead at full speed with the development of fully and partially electrically powered vehicles. By 2020, seven new electric and plug-in hybrid models will have come onto the market in China, where they are also being produced. Against this background, the BUDD-e is indeed becoming an ambassador for a new kind of high-tech mobility. And what is fascinating about this is not just the drive system, but also the new form of operation and information handling via voice, touch and gesture control, plus large display landscapes.”

Categories: Volkswagen


Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "Volkswagen: BUDD-e Fascinates China"

newest oldest most voted

The Chinese are fascinated by this and will copy the design and have their own look a like to their local market before Volkswagen does.


Budd-e is DOA. Respect aerodynamics, VW.

I don’t think it is worse than Kia Soul EV..

Sometimes, the most efficient box for carry capacity is a box..

Aerodynamics are of less importance for delivery vans going around in towns.

That is true.

However, the point of aerodynamic is important. Even at 35mph, the aerodynamic would start to play a major role for “lighter vehicles”…

Granted, everything is about trade off in engineering design. Sometimes you trade of aerodynamic for more utilities… Sometimes you go the other way…

I’m not a fan of VW, but the Budd-e seems like a good family hauler / futuristic mini-van.

How many other 100kWh electric mini-vans are out there?

+ 1

I would buy in a heartbeat, might need to tweak the front a little for aerodynamics but I really like it.

Imagine the price of a 100KWH vehicle from VW.

So 330 miles range on the NEDC test cycle means real would range actually would be what…?.. 250 miles range…?

Budd-e is cool, although I’m not sure the Bulli associations are really that strong for me…

With the announced 2025 strategy I think it’s pretty clear VW is the first to make serious moves of the incumbents. Whether this is because of the diesel scandal or not, VW deserves credit. They’re investing some double digit number of billions of Euros in a battery factory and EV-related tech and say they’ll introduce over 30 BEVs in the years to 2025 – and should sell 2-3 million of them yearly by then.

If the other incumbents aim as high as VW, we’ll see literally hundreds of new BEVs launch over the next eight and a half years.

Which is what the world needs!

Some more info on the BUDD-e:

It has a 92,4 kWh battery and a topspeed of 112 MPH. 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. 2 motors for a total of 225 kW of power.

Before this is available, we might have to deal with Pacific PHEV for few years as the primary people mover.

Now, with that size of the battery, I sure hope VW push for 150kW+ CCS to be worldwide standard.

Another Euro point of view

VW is trying hard on EV’s already but their efforts are not easily seen as from an North American point of view because so many models are just not imported and that success is only striking in foreign, small markets such as Norway, which to us Europeans is the EV laboratory for the rest of Europe. There, VW group (PH)EV sales (VW+Audi+Porsche) so far this year is 6,800, that is 3 times as much as its nearer competitor and 7 times as much as what Tesla did (950 so far). Source: EV sales blog (Jose Pontes)

well spotted and pointed out!
All too often, the US-focused blogs in the new-tech sphere ignore the rest of the world 😉