Volkswagen Unveils its ID.Buzz Electric Van, a New Take on an Iconic Vehicle
【Summary】After teasing the return of the iconic Volkswagen Bus for the past several years as a modern electric vehicle, the restyled ID.Buzz has been officially unveiled in Hamburg, Germany. Volkswagen took the iconic VW Bus that is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s and completely redesigned it as a fully-electric multi-purpose vehicle. The ID.Buzz will be offered in two models, a passenger version and a cargo version for commercial use.
After teasing the return of the iconic Volkswagen Bus for the past several years as a modern electric vehicle, the restyled ID.Buzz has been officially unveiled in Hamburg, Germany.
Volkswagen took the iconic VW Bus that is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s and completely redesigned it as a fully-electric multi-purpose vehicle. The ID.Buzz will be offered in two models, a passenger version and a cargo version for commercial use. The passenger version will also be offered in both a long and short wheelbase. The shorter wheelbase version will be sold in Europe.
In December, Volkswagen confirmed that its commercial vehicle division will produce the "ID. California" all-electric leisure vehicle. The electric version of the iconic campervan will share its platform with the ID.Buzz.
Volkswagen showed off the I.D. BUZZ a fully electric concept vehicle at the Detroit Show in early 2017. VW designed the concept to tap into the spirit and vibe that made the original Microbus such an iconic vehicle in the 1960s.
According to VW, the modern version of the Bus will feature the latest ID. software and set new standards in the electric segment with the latest functions for safety, comfort and charging.
The ID. Buzz will also be used for future autonomous mobility services, such as ride-sharing as part of an e-shuttle service operated by VW subsidiary MOIA that can be booked via an app similar to Uber. MOIA is the largest ride-sharing provider in Hamburg, Germany.
The ID. Buzz will be built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover on the automaker's dedicated Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) EV platform. VW's MEB is the world's first scalable mass production platform for all-electric vehicles and will be the foundation for many different electric models and segments.
The MEB architecture allows for the further development of software and technology, which not only benefits new models such as the ID. Buzz, but all models built on the platform. All of VW's MEB-based EVs will support over-the-air software updates.
"The ID. Buzz is a genuine icon for the electric era. A car, the likes of which only Volkswagen can build," said Ralf Brandstätter, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Passenger Cars "In the 1950s, the Volkswagen Bulli stood for a new feeling of automotive freedom, independence and great emotion. The ID. Buzz picks up on this lifestyle and transfers it into our time: emission-free, sustainable, fully networked and now ready for the next big chapter: autonomous driving. With this car, we are bringing together the core themes of our ACCELERATE strategy in one product for the first time."
The ID.Buzz and ID.Cargo will come with a 77 kWh lithium-ion battery. It provides current to a 150 kW electric motor to drive the rear wheels. The battery is positioned low in the floor to give the vehicle a low vehicle center for improved handling and agility. The ID.Buzz electric powertrain produces around 200 horsepower and 230 lb ft of torque in the European versions. U.S. specs will likely be higher.
North America models of the ID.Buzz will be offered with an optional all-wheel-drive dual-motor configuration.
The battery can be charged from wall boxes or public charging stations using a standard 11 kW alternating current (AC). In addition, using a CCS plug connector at a DC rapid-charging station (direct current) the charging power increases to up to 170 kW for rapid charging. When plugged into a DC charger, the battery can be charged from 5% to 80% in roughly 30 minutes.
VW will also offer its ‘Plug & Charge' function in the future, which exchanges all necessary data with the charging station in this way – an added convenience.
The ID.Buzz also supports bidirectional charging. Using an optical DC bi-directional wall box at a customer's home, the vehicle's battery can be used to power homes in the event of a power failure. The technology is referred to as Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) charging.
The van's spacious interior features a clean layout with thought utilization of space. The passenger version can accommodate 5 occupants along with their luggage. The second row of seats also folds down, which increases cargo capacity to up to 2,205 cubic liters.
The commercial-focused cargo version of the ID.Buzz can fit two standard fully-loaded euro pallets when they are positioned transversely, says VW.
In May of 2021, VW announced it would begin testing its first autonomous commercial vehicles in partnership with Argo AI. VW's Commercial Vehicles division launched the trials using the ID.BUZZ outfitted with self-driving technology developed by Argo AI, a company backed by both Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen.
The self-driving ID BUZZ vans that will eventually be used by MOIA were outfitted with lidar, radar and cameras by Argo AI to support Level 4 autonomous driving, which requires no human supervision.
The U.S. version ID.Buzz model will likely go on sale in 2024, although VW did not provide an exact timeline for its release. But it's safe to say that the new VW ID buzz has generated a lot of "buzz" in the auto industry.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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