Geneva Auto Show: VW Bulli Electric Van

It was over 60 years ago that the beloved Volkswagen bus, known as the Microbus in the United States, debuted as the vehicle of choice first for families on road trips and later for hippies. It faded into the background of automotive history over time, though one sometimes sees an old VW bus on the road. Now the iconic vehicle is making an electric style comeback at the Geneva Motor Show in the form of the Bulli concept.

The VW Bulli of today sports an electric motor and is described by the German automaker as a zero emissions vehicle. The motor outputs 85 kW of power and has 199 lb.-ft of torque. It gets energy from a lithium-ion battery with a maximum storage capacity of 40 kWh that offers a driving range of up to 186.4 miles and, in some circumstances, can be charged in less than an hour. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds, and its top speed is 87 mph (electronically limited).

VW Bulli

image via VW

On the interior of this electric vehicle, VW has turned to the Apple iPad as the Bulli’s infotainment system. It sits in the center console as a multifunctional touchscreen interface. It offers Internet-based applications and media control, along with handling other functions like hands-free Bluetooth and a navigation system. Integrated right on the iPad mount are controls for the climate control system and the centrally-located hazard warning switch.

VW Bulli

image via VW

Also on the interior is a color multifunction display, semi-circular in shape, that can be used to view and control (via multifunctional keys in the steering wheel and on it) the navigation system, telephone, trip computer and media center – the entire unit of speedometer and multifunction display also communicates with the iPad. There’s also a rotary switch to the right of the driver, which is used to activate forward and reverse gears., as well as a push button in the same switch is used to start and stop the motor.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply March 4, 2011


    How much?

    • Reply March 4, 2011

      Nino Marchetti

      Wish we knew. No details on that.

  • Reply March 4, 2011


    And when will it be for sale?

  • Reply March 30, 2011


    Dear VW,nIf you pursue this, please include a split rear bench. I want to have some cargo capacity even with a child seat in the back.

  • Reply June 26, 2011


    with a range of about 186 on electric not counting what a diesel would add, it would be a nice work van for me. But really need bucket seat for better back support, but the aftermarket side would also take care of that.u00a0

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Siemon J. Franken Garzon

    intelligently engineered,timely… yet pays homage to its older siblings,nwhen does it arrive and @u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0what co ?nn

  • Reply March 13, 2012


    OLD (very) VW Fan
     neat to see it reeincarnated as a sleek modern and GREEN

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