Volkswagen ID.Buzz All-electric Vans Combine Iconic Styling With Modern Technology

ID.Buzz passenger and Cargo electric vans finally reach production and will be available in Europe later this year; U.S. in 2024.

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz passenger van mimics the iconic design of the VW microbus, but with a modern twist and technology. (VW)

After a more than two-decade wait from when the concept was first unveiled at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen finally revealed the production version of both the ID.Buzz passenger and ID.Buzz Cargo vans. VW announced the all-electric vans will be available in several European countries by the third quarter of this year, while a U.S. version will go on sale in 2024.

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz passenger van will be available in a five-passenger configuration, with individual front seats and a rear bench seat. (VW)

Both vehicles are based on VW’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB), a scalable large-production platform that underpins various models across the automaker’s EV line. Carsten Intra, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said in a video reveal (bottom) that the ID.Buzz vans “are the first zero-emissions vehicle launched in large scale production simultaneously in a passenger and commercial version.”

Rear-wheel-drive EV

The ID.Buzz and ID.Buzz Cargo will launch with an 82-kWh lithium-ion battery pack made up of 12 modules and mounted under the floor of the vehicle. The battery will provide 150 kw (201 hp) and 229 lb-ft to an electric motor driving the rear axle, with top speed limited to 90 mph. According to VW, more versions of the battery with various power output levels will be available in 2023.

The ID.Buzz can be charged either using 11-kW AC or 170-kW DC fast-charging via a CCS connector. According to VW, when DC-fast charging the battery can replenish from 5 to 80% in 30 minutes. The vans will eventually use Plug & Charge technology that doesn’t require an app or RFID card to access commercial charging stations. They will also support vehicle-to-home charging when used with an optional bi-directional wall box to feed power to a home or back to a public electrical grid.

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz Cargo van doesn’t come with a driver-side sliding door, but one can be added as an option. (VW)
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz Cargo van has 137.7 cu. ft. of cargo space, compared to 39.6 cu. ft. for the passenger version. (VW)

Axles far apart for short overhangs

The ID.Buzz and ID.Buzz Cargo launching in Europe this year are 117.6-inch standard-wheelbase versions. Extended-wheelbase versions will be available in Europe in 2023 and in the U.S. in 2024. Both ID.Buzz models are 185.5 inches long and 78.1 inches wide. The ID.Buzz measures 76.3 inches high, and the cargo version is a millimeter higher due to slight chassis differences. VW said a space-efficient electric drivetrain allows the axles of the ID.Buzz to be set far apart for short overhangs.

VW also states that the ID Buzz Cargo has the same wheelbase as the VW T6.1 Transporter van, but is 7.8 inches shorter, allowing it to fit into smaller parking spaces. Its 36.4-foot turning equal to the VW Golf. The standard-wheelbase ID.Buzz will be equipped with two sliding side doors and five seats: individual front seats and a three-person bench seat behind. A six-seat option will come later with individual seats arranged in three rows of two, while the extended wheelbase will have a seven-seat 2/3/2 configuration.

The ID.Buzz Cargo will launch with three seats as standard: a driver’s seat plus double bench seats, with an option to have an individual front-seat passenger seat. The ID.Buzz has 39.6 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat, while the ID.Buzz Cargo gets 137.7 cu. ft. of rear space without the rear seat. The ID.Buzz Cargo has single sliding door on the passenger side, with a second driver’s-side door available as an option.

Forward-facing technology

While the ID.Buzz vans rely on iconic VW Microbus exterior styling, the interior features modern tech such as twin 10-inch displays – one in the center dash and one that serves as an instrument panel. An optional 12-inch center-dash with navigation will be available. ID.Buzz models will come standard with forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and road-sign recognition. Optional driver assists include adaptive cruise control, lane centering, blind-spot assist, automated parking, auto high beams and a surround-view camera.

Kai Grünitz, head of development, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said that the vans will rely on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication and “swarm data” from other connected vehicles to provide ID.Buzz drivers with traffic and safety information. He added the vans will also receive “constant over-the-air software updates” to ensure they’re “always running the latest software.” Grünitz said that starting in 2025 Volkswagen will deploy autonomous ID.Buzz vans in Hamburg. He also added that an ID.Buzz AD will be the first Volkswagen production vehicles equipped with SAE Level 4 self-driving technology.

VW CEO of Passenger Vehicles Ralf Brandstätter said, “The ID.Buzz unites the past with the future. With its proud legacy, the ID.Buzz is a symbol of Volkswagen’s transformation and shows the great team spirit between Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.”