If there were a Holy Trinity right now for the carbon conscious overlanding crowd it would be this: Electric, off-road capable, and a van. Throw in modularity, and you’ll get pulses pounding even quicker. Wrap it all up with a range of nearly 400 miles, that can be eked even further with solar panels and regenerative braking, and prepare the fainting couch.
That’s what the eBussy is promising. Oh, and it would reportedly (by eBussy) cost well below $50,000. In some builds, tens of thousands of dollars less.
The, let’s just say, interestingly named van, is, or will be, made by a German e-scooter company called Electric Brands. They have announced expected delivery sometime in 2021. They are taking reservations now, promising €1,000 off with early bird pricing.
eBussy comes in either of two platforms—standard and off-road. The off-road chassis is “modified” though beyond a small bump of some 4 inches in ground clearance, it’s unclear what other mods the off-road chassis enjoys. Both platforms are all-wheel-drive, however. The hub motors produce an astounding 737 pound feet of torque, by the way, though only about 20 hp each. With the right tires for grip, you’d be able to pull out all sorts of gas-powered rigs stuck in the muck somewhere.
As far as the modularity is concerned, there are ten variants, ranging from pickup, to open-top safari car, to normal van, with seemingly infinite seating and storage configurations. The pickup model stashes the batteries below the floor, the van version keeps them in a pull-out drawer. There are few details about how exactly this will happen, but supposedly swapping bodies onto your platform whenever you like is part of the plan. Electric Brands calls it the Lego principle. Dump truck, pickup, delivery van, hearse, race car, camper van, whatever you want it to be, it will be. Max payload is around 2,200 pounds.
Right, about those batteries. The least expensive eBussy comes with 8 battery units, good for about 125 miles of driving. But, depending on variant, as many as 24 battery units can be crammed into the thing, which will, reportedly, provide 375 miles of range. Of course, that significantly bumps the cost by more than $10,000, but when the base price is around $18,000, that doesn’t seem so bad.
VW is set to produce the I.D. Buzz, an all-electric van pretty soon here, but it won’t have nearly the off-road appeal, and likely will cost significantly more than the eBussy. Of course, both are still in concept phase. We’ll see which is first, but assuming they both enter production, hard to see overlanding and vanlife enthusiasts choosing the less customizable VW. We’ll see.