I have to admit, this concept EV design from the German company Electric Brands punches so many of my car-design buttons: friendly face, modularity, maximum space utilization, extreme utility, all that. I really like it. There is just one issue I have with this remarkable concept they’re calling the eBussy, though: they really should have had someone pop that name into Urban Dictionary before making the big announcement.
Yes, the unfortunate (or maybe fortunate? I guess that depends on their goals for this thing) similarity of the name eBussy to a well-known slang term is the main reason this thing is trending on Twitter, which is a shame because the concept has so many good qualities as well.
Design-wise, this thing feels an awful lot like a Volkswagen Type 2 transporter platform, right down to the available variations. Here, look at this—the diagrams for the VW are up top:
The baseline design is essentially a VW Type 2 pickup, complete with that under-bed storage locker. It makes a lot of sense, though—the old bus design, effectively a box on wheels, is hard to improve on when it comes to space utilization.
The basic box-on-wheels design/cab with a flatbed design has proven to be remarkably flexible, and it looks like the plan is for the eBussy to take full advantage of all the possible options:
The eBussy doesn’t have the VW’s rear-mounted flat-four, instead of relying on hub-mounted electric motors that only make 20 horsepower, but are also capable of an insane 737 pound-feet of torque. I’m not sure I can think of a vehicle outside of an airport tug that has that kind of spread between HP and torque.
The base eBussy has a small 10 kWh battery pack that’s allegedly good for 124 miles of range, with an option to upgrade to a 30 kWh pack for about 375 miles.
Electric Brands also mentions on their site that the eBussy has integrated solar panels and “It generates a daily range of up to 200 km via its integrated solar modules and recuperating drives.” but I’ve learned to take solar panel charging with a big grain of salt.
It appears that the battery packs are stored in the under-bed lockers for the pick-up versions, and in a large, slide-out tray at the rear for the bus/van versions, which would suggest interior packaging very similar to an old VW bus.
Speaking of the interior packaging, it looks like a lot of thought has been put into seating and cargo configurations and folding options:
The instrument panel has also been well-considered, with the drive-by-wire system allowing for rapid-swap left- and right-hand drive configurations.
I assume there’s a solution for the pedals, too? You can see all this in their little promo video here:
The camper version looks especially appealing and suggests that this may not just be intended as a city car/local delivery vehicle as well since if you want to go camping, you have to travel a bit.
There’s a lot to like here, absolutely, even with the questionable name. My real question is, of course, how real is this. So far we’ve just seen a lot of fun renderings, but no evidence anything physical actually exists.
The suggested prices start at just over $18,000 and go up to $33,300 or so for the AWD camper version, which feels extremely cheap to me.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m very hopeful about all of this, and if they can pull it off, VW may find their announced I.D. Buzz has some competition—but I’d still like to know more about how likely this is to be real.
I’m very much hoping it is!