Production Volkswagen Budd-e coming in 2020

The electric van will be capable of driving for at least 373 miles on a single charge.

The Volkswagen Budd-e concept (pictured) that was unveiled a few weeks ago at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been given the green light for production, a new report finds.

"You will see a car that looks a lot like [the Budd-e], on the MEB platform, reach production. I can't say exactly when, but 2020 or thereabouts," revealed Volkmar Tanneberger, Volkswagen's head of electronic development, in an interview with England's Car magazine.

The concept's design will be toned down slightly for production. In other words, it will ride on smaller wheels, it will wear a less futuristic-looking front end, and it will gain a set of conventional door handles. Bigger changes will be found in the cabin, where the lounge-like rear seat will most likely be replaced by a pair of more conventional forward-facing bench seats for obvious safety reasons.

Like the MQB platform, the MEB will underpin several Volkswagen- and Audi-badged models in the coming years. All models will feature a flat battery pack in order to free up as much space in the cabin as possible and an electric motor mounted over each axle. The production version of the Budd-e will be capable of driving for up to 373 miles on a single charge, though that figure might get bumped up as battery technology advances.

The Budd-e will be the only battery-powered van in the Volkswagen lineup. The California, the Transporter, and the full-size Crafter will continue to be offered with an internal combustion engine in the foreseeable future.

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