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Electrification from Volkswagen

06.26.16 - Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept

We are certainly in an age where every car company needs to embrace the fact they should have some electric vehicles in their lineup. Volkswagen has already begun to figure this out and showed us a concept recently that may become the basis for a wide variety of great vehicles that will operate on nothing but electric power. So far this concept is capable of giving us the range we want, but just like every other company out there that has electric vehicles, Volkswagen is working toward learning how to reduce the charging time of their electric concept in order to make the ride more akin to a gasoline powered vehicle.

While every manufacturer tries to figure out how to charge batteries more quickly, Volkswagen with their BUDD-e Concept has announced they will use this platform for a variety of their vehicles which will be offered with electric power. This concept vehicle is a modern take on the VW Bus that we all know and love from many years ago and was a great way to showcase a version that would be embraced by the environmentally responsible crowd that tended to fall in favor with the VW Bus. With a range of 310 miles on a single charge this group would be able to drive where they needed to during the day and explore the destination upon arrival until the batteries are recharged.

The platform the BUDD-e is built in is called the MEB platform and it’s expected to be used for a variety of vehicles. VW announced this platform will be read by 2019 and will be used for everything from the small Polo to the Passat. The challenge so far is figuring out whether or not this platform can reach higher than the Passat and be used on the new VW flagship, the Phaeton.

The Phaeton just might be a little too large for the MEB platform to work. As the next attempt at giving us a luxury vehicle with the VW logo on the front, this car is already expected to be much larger than the Passat and offer us a great deal more in terms of technology and power. If VW can’t figure out how to use the MEB platform for the Phaeton there are a couple options they have and neither one of them seems to be gaining any favor with the current brass at Volkswagen.

The first option would be to scrap the Phaeton altogether. This is not considered an actual option as the company is certain a great luxury vehicle is what they need to round out their lineup, and one that is able to have an electric range is perfect after the diesel scandal debacle. the second choice would be to delay the production of the Phaeton and develop a single platform that will work well for a car of this size. This second option seems to be the most likely at this point as VW works toward creating the car they want to offer the world.

It may take some time, but we will eventually know if VW can pull off using the MEB platform for the Phaeton or if they need to build a single platform for the job. Of course with several brands under the Volkswagen Group, VW is working closely with partners Porsche and Audi to not only develop the Porsche Mission E electric sports car and Audi e-tron Quattro, but to solve the problem of a larger car on a platform that seems to be made for a small to midsized car only.

It will be exciting to have a lineup of electric vehicles from Volkswagen for us to admire and drive and if the Phaeton needs a couple extra years to develop, that shouldn’t be too much of a concern as it’s more important for the VW to get it right than to rush into a production that doesn’t work.

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