The newest member of VW’s EV family, the ID. Buzz is set to make its global premiere in early March. The automaker has been drip-feeding information to the public. Below will be a summary of this battery electric van featuring an all-new design that inherits VW’s T1 legacy.
While VW unveiled the ID. Buzz concept car in 2017, the production vehicle is finally ready for prime time next month after five years of development. VW intends to host an announcement on March 9 and reveal two battery electric SUVs – the ID. Buzz five-seater and the ID. Buzz Cargo van.
Before introducing the vehicles, it should be mentioned that, unlike the other models on display, the VW ID. Buzz represents a much sincerity from the automaker. In addition to the current prototypes, a fleet of ID. Buzz is also currently driving around Europe as part of road tests. After finalizing tests under various weather and road conditions, the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo will enter mass production in summer 2022, with European market availability in September this year at the earliest.
The ID series of EVs from VW adopts the brand-new MEB chassis across the entire range. Hence, there will no significant differences in terms of driving range and power. The ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo are both powered by 82 kWh battery packs and 150 kW RWD motors, with a maximum speed electronically limited to 145 kmh. Although their curb weights and driving ranges are yet to be announced, the integration of the MEB chassis suggests a minimum of 310 km with respect to driving range.
▲ Final road testing in various European cities for the ID. Buzz is well underway.
Having inherited the concept of VW’s classic T1 commercial van, the ID. Buzz’s exterior design demands increased significance. The latter vehicle has preserved several key elements, including ultrashort overhangs, which are a design that maximizes interior space while keeping chassis size to a minimum. The distinctive two-level body design, combined with an even more distinctive V-shaped front lining, round out the exterior (granted, camouflage paint on concept vehicles makes it difficult to make out the V shape).
Small car, large wheelbase
This means that the ID. Buzz’s characteristic is perfectly in line with those EVs because, without a complex drivetrain, EVs are generally able to operate with a longer wheelbase and interior space. While the ID. Buzz’s wheelbase reaches 2,988 mm in length, the length of the vehicle is only 4,712 mm. In comparison, although VW’s T6.1 features a wheelbase that is 2 mm longer, the vehicle’s overall length is 200 mm longer.
In other words, without sacrificing interior space, the ID. Buzz is more agile and easier to park, thanks to its 11 m turning circle on par with that of the Toyota RAV4 commonly seen in Taiwan. As an excellent helper for outings and cargos, the ID. Buzz features 1,121 liters of interior space – while fully seated. In particular, the ID. Buzz Cargo, with the addition of dividers, has a maximum interior space of 3.9 m3.
▲ A netizen has caught an ID. Buzz undergoing tests in the snow in Norway (Source: CarSpyMedia)
The ID. Buzz also features plug & charge as well as bidirectional charging capabilities. While the former enables VW drivers to more easily charge their vehicles at various major charging operators’ charging stations without the hassle of swiping credit cards or making payments some other way, as drivers have to only plug the charger into their vehicles and let the automated system handle all relevant processes between the vehicle and the charging station. Bidirectional charging, on the other hand, allows the ID. Buzz to double as a large spare battery. For instance, during times of simultaneous power outages and faulty PV panels, the ID. Buzz can act as a reverse charger that supplies electricity for the household.
From conception to mass production, the ID. Buzz underwent five years of gestation, although one could argue this figure is closer to 50 years if accounting for the first electric van’s emergence to the present. More specifically, Volkswagen unveiled the electric T2 concept, powered by lead-acid batteries, at the 1972 Hannover Messe. With a driving range of only 85 km, the T2 was, needless to say, unfit for practical use. However, VW was finally able to realize its BEV dream after half a century now that the automaker is ready to return to the commercial van world with its latest carbon-neutral offering.
The ID. Buzz will be available for sale in Europe this September and in the US next year, with an estimated retail price of under €60,000.