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Volkswagen AG released a teaser image of a “completely new” electric car concept it will unveil next month at the CES 2016 trade show in Las Vegas that will signal a move to more affordable, longer-range electric vehicles.

A number of media outlets are speculating the car will be a new electric Microbus, which gained popularity in the 1960s. The teaser image appears to show a large car with a van-like front end.

VW, in a press release teasing the new car, said it would illustrate the “major changes that the car is set to go through in the next few years” and that it “marks the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility.”

The automaker said it would show off new display and operating concepts at the trade show, formerly called the Consumer Electronics Show.

The German automaker earlier this month announced that Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management for passenger cars, will deliver a keynote on Jan. 5 where he will focus on “a new era of electric mobility, including Volkswagen’s groundbreaking electric vehicle that will further illustrate the synergy between the Internet of Things and the automotive industry.”

The automaker has been embroiled in a scandal after it was caught cheating on emissions regulations tests. It has mostly stayed away from electric cars in favor of what it called “clean diesel,” although it does currently offer the e-Golf plug-in.

CES 2016, which runs Jan. 6-9, showcases the latest automotive, home and entertainment technologies.

Over the years the trade show has gained a larger automotive presence, and this year a number of executives will speak, including Diess and General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra. GM is expected to show off a production version of its Bolt electric vehicle.

mmartinez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2401

Twitter.com/MikeMartinez_DN

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