After watching the Faraday Future roll out at CES 2016 I was a little disappointed. Mostly, because they did such a good job of ratcheting up the anticipation. I applaud them throwing their hat in the ring and contributing to the evolution of our commute and sustainability by introducing integration, but an elitist concept car left me flat. Conversely, I was really impressed with Volkswagen’s introduction of the Budd-e.
Granted, this is a concept car, but the fact that VW is the largest producer of cars in the world, it doesn’t take much to imagine their car being in mass production in 2017. They also have a headstart by virtue of designing a similar, gas powered version, the Bulli, in 2011 that never made it to market. The Budd-e will certainly make it to market, if for no other reason than Volkswagen is trying to recover from its emissions scandal.
My disappointment with Faraday Future’s concept car, the Zero1, came from its lack of mass appeal. It seemed like it should only be driven by billionaire superheros. Conversely, the Budd-e has a practical feel. It’s certainly exotic, being fully electric with integrated technology, but there is still a feeling that a common person with common aspirations and a normal job could and would own one.
The Budd-e and Zero1 are not completely unalike, however. It’s even possible that VW may have inspired a Faraday Future’s concept, multi-use platform which is a large part of the excitement created by the Budd-e. VW used the MQB platform for cars from the Golf to the Tiguan. This was a unique and innovative approach that massively improved efficiency and scalability. It really surprising that other car companies haven’t followed suit on this approach. VW indicated that they will continue to use this multipurpose platform approach with the Budd-e breaking the new ground, and other models to follow.