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Volkswagen unveils its concept electric microbus: The Bulli

March 3, 2011 |  1:53 pm

VWBulli2The VW Bus broke ground more than 60 years ago when it entered the market, becoming what Volkswagen said was the world’s first van. Now the German manufacturer is looking to the future with a concept electric version called the Bulli.

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the Bulli -- which comes from an early nickname for the VW Bus -- is powered with a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and can travel up to 186.4 miles per charge, Volkswagen says. Its top sped is 87 miles per hour.

VWBulli3 Inspired by the original bus, the Bulli is designed to maximize interior space. It is a wide-set six-seater with a single bench seat in the front, two-thirds of which folds down. The rear bench seat also collapses. Like the original, the Bulli exterior is two-tone with a large VW emblem front and center on the hood.

As befits a forward-thinking car, an iPad is incorporated into the center console and works as a multifunctional touchscreen, controlling the car's Bluetooth and navigation functions, as well as entertainment media, including Internet access.

For now, the Bulli is only a concept, but a VW spokeswoman said the manufacturer sees "great opportunity for it in the U.S." 


Rolls-Royce jumps on the electric bandwagon with Phantom Experimental Electric

 -- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Volkswagen Bulli, electric concept microbus. Credit: Volkswagen of America Inc.