Volkswagen unveils microbus-like concept van, apologizes for emissions scandal

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  Jan. 6, 2016 at 7:53 AM
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LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Volkswagen Board of Management member Herbert Diess apologized over the emissions scandal during a 2016 Consumer Electronic Show keynote speech where he also unveiled a futuristic electric concept van: the BUDD-e.

Diess quickly addressed the scandal at the start of his speech in a lengthy apology. Volkswagen has been shaken by a scandal surrounding the falsification of emissions data to help many of its vehicles pass EPA emissions standards.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil complaint against Volkswagen on Monday as part of the continued consequences.

"For more than 60 years, the Volkswagen brand has been at home in the United States. So, 60 years has been full of great moments, great emotions and great successes, and we are proud of it. Of course, the current issue with the diesel engines is certainly nothing to be proud of," Diess said. "We disappointed our customers, and the American people, for which I am truly sorry and for which I apologize."

Among other accusations, the Justice Department's lawsuit alleges Volkswagen equipped nearly 600,000 diesel engines with illegal devices that would manipulate emissions control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA standards.

"Once again, we are committed to making things right, and we are focused on making sure that something can never happen again at Volkswagen," Diess added.

The board member then attempted to strike a positive tone following the apology, stating Volkswagen was working toward improving and reviewing its view "of the future of mobility."

The BUDD-e concept van was later unveiled, which is essentially a long-distance electric microbus. The concept van has a 101 kWh battery with a total range of 373 miles and the capacity for cordless, inductive charging. It'll sport a top speed of 93 miles per hour, but since it is a concept vehicle it may never reach the road.

One of the most striking features of the vehicle is Volkswagen's new Modular Electric Platform, a design specific for electric vehicles that pushes the electric engines as far as possible to the front and rear of the vehicles -- allowing for ample room within the vehicle.

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