The somewhat polarizing Volkswagen BUDD-e battery-electric microbus concept has managed to win the “2016 Concept Truck of the Year” award at the recent 15th Annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards.
The winning qualities of the concept vehicle that the judges were swayed by were reportedly its “next-gen” features intended to “address both the utility and mobility needs of the present and future” — high connectivity, electric propulsion and battery technologies, infotainment, etc.
Highlights of the concept truck, based on the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB), included the 101 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack (supposedly allowing for ~230 miles of range per full charge); the gesture-based control system for interior + exterior features; and the communicative links between the concept vehicle and smarthome technologies.
The Director of Product Marketing at Volkswagen of America, Dr Hendrik Muth, commented: “We are thrilled that the BUDD-e has been honored as 2016 Concept Truck of the Year and would like to thank the panel of judges for recognizing Volkswagen’s innovation. We are determined to lead the future of automotive design, and BUDD-e shows the capabilities of our all-new electric vehicle architecture and further advances connectivity and infotainment.”
As a bit of background here, the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were founded back in 2002, and involve competitions in 4 different award categories (Production Preview Vehicle, Concept Car, Concept Truck, Most Significant Concept Vehicle). Over 24 jurors participated in the selection process of the 2016 North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards, and 20 concept vehicles competed.
The award ceremony took place in July 31st at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St John’s in Plymouth, in Michigan.
Note that the Volkswagen BUDD-e also won the “Interior Design of the Year Award” at the recent Automotive Interiors Expo 2016 show in Stuttgart, Germany.
Top images by Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica; bottom images by Volkswagen