Volkswagen to Build I.D. Buzz Electric Microbus for U.S. Market
This weekend, Volkswagen announced that it will build a version of the VW I.D. Buzz electric multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) concept that the German automaker previewed earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Plans are for the retro-futuristic electric microbus to begin reaching dealerships in 2022.
Tapping into American consumers’ love of the VW microbus for family travel, the I.D. Buzz combines a ‘60s hippie VW minibus vibe with the capability of a modern zero-emission electric microbus that can be configured to seat 8 with two cargo compartments. The I.D. Buzz, which may be semi-autonomous, will be marketed in North America, Europe, and China, according to a company statement.
The production model will have batteries mounted in the floor to provide a spacious interior. It will look like a compact commercial van on the outside but offer the generous interior space of an SUV inside, according to VW. High seating, lots of cargo room, and an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option make it an ideal family trip vehicle. In addition to a minibus version, Volkswagen will build an I.D. Buzz Cargo variant. Both versions will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and will have an intended range of nearly 300 miles on one charge, according to VW.
VW’s I.D. Buzz is the second EV concept that the automaker will produce, along with the original I.D. concept slated to enter production in 2019 as a 2020 model, while the I.D. Crozz concept foreshadows the look of a VW electric SUV. All three use VW’s Modular Electric Drive kit components and chassis parts.
In a statement, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess said it was fitting to green-light production of the electric MPV at Pebble Beach, home of the Concours d’Elegance, because “the microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle and VW is now bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.”
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