Volkswagen has finally unveiled its long-anticipated electric microbus—the ID. Buzz—which the company claims is Europe’s first all-electric bus.
The model is the latest eco-friendly version of Bulli, Volkswagen’s microbus that became a significant cultural icon from the 60s to the 80s.
“The ID. Buzz is a genuine icon for the electric era. A car, the likes of which only Volkswagen can build,” Ralf Brandstätter, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said in a news release.
“In the 1950s, the Volkswagen Bulli stood for a new feeling of 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.”
According to Volkswagen chief designer Jozef Kabaň, what makes the ID. Buzz so unique is its proportions.
“In the T1, you are practically sitting on top of the front axle – there’s no front overhang,” he said, referring to the original classic vehicle.
Even after the safety and technology features are packed up front, this latest model has “super short overhangs,” he said.
The ID. Buzz is expected to deliver between 220 and 250 miles of real-world range. It’s not that high, but it’s enough for many use cases, including road trips.
The car, which comes with a 77kWh battery (gross energy content: 82 kWh), supports 11kW AC charging and 170kW DC fast charging with plug-and-charge capability.
Outside, the 4.71m long ID. Buzz looks similar to the original Type 2 microbus with its V-shaped hood, two-tone paint, and large VW emblems front and back. But unlike the original, ID. Buzz’s windows surrounds are painted black instead of white, and its headlights aren’t round.
Inside, the ID. Buzz can fit five people and their luggage. Like any van, the second row of seats can be folded down to increase storage capacity.
The seats, headliner, door panels, and steering wheel are white, with colored accents matching the exterior color (yellow, green, orange, or blue).
The floor, rear tailgate, seat pedestals, windshield trim, seat belts, and some controls are black, but there are also silver accents throughout, such as the dashboard, door pulls, and center console.
There are two cup holders behind a panel in the lower middle of the dashboard. The removable center console includes a pull-out bottle holder and two USB Type-C ports.
There are two more USB Type-C ports and a Qi wireless phone charger next to the steering wheel, one in each sliding door, one in the passenger-side door, one on either side of the cargo area, and one by the rearview mirror , which is for a dashcam.
Second-row passengers can use a pair of airplane-style folding trays mounted on the backs of the front seats, which are power-operated, heated, and come with a massaging function.
Like its earlier siblings, the ID. Buzz is packed with tech features. It has self-parking, LTE connectivity, 360-degree view, over-the-air updates, wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, WiFi hotspot functionality, ID.Light for visual cues, Hello ID voice assistant, and VW’s IQ .DRIVE advanced driver assistance and safety package.
This driving and safety technology is enabled by multiple cameras installed in the front, on the side mirrors, at the bottom of the windshield, and in the back of the ID. Buzz. There are also ultrasonic and radar sensors all around.
“With this car, we are bringing together the core themes of our accelerated strategy in one product for the first time,” said Brandstätter.
The model line is manufactured at VW’s main plant in Hanover, Germany. The ID. Buzz will be available across Europe this fall, with the starting price expected to fall around $40,000.
Check out the world premiere of the ID. Buzz in the video below from Volkswagen News.
***Did you enjoy our feel-good and positive story? You can help support our site by simply SUBSCRIBING and sharing our stories with your friends and family.