The Volkswagen Microbus Is Reborn As an EV—Meet the ID. Buzz
The electric van is heavily inspired by the past.
ByMarc CarterPublished March 11, 2022 12:00PM ESTFact checked byKatherine Martinko
The Volkswagen Microbus is one of the brand’s most iconic models and now it’s back. Volkswagen unveiled its 2024 ID. Buzz—an electric van that’s heavily inspired by the past.
The original bus was based on the same platform as the Beetle and this time the ID. Buzz is based on VW’s MEB platform, which is shared by the ID.4 SUV. Thanks to the excellent platform, VW was able to replicate the short hood from the original, while still meeting today’s safety regulations.
The exterior features several vintage cues from the past, like its large VW logo, two-tone paint, and unique E-pillars that are inspired by the air intakes from the Type 2. These design cues bring back so many fond memories of the VW’s past, making it one of the most exciting new EVs.
“The T1 – an icon of the 1950s – represents freedom and the democratization of mobility. With the ID. Buzz, we are transferring the T1 DNA to the present day and thus into the era of electric mobility and sustainability,” said Jozef Kabaň, the head of Volkswagen design.1
The ID. Buzz unveiled Wednesday is a standard-wheelbase version that will go on sale in Europe later this year. Next year VW will unveil a long-wheelbase version that will arrive in the U.S. in 2024. The long-wheelbase version will also have three rows of seats with room for seven passengers, compared to only two rows in the standard version.
Initially the ID. Buzz will be powered by a rear-mounted electric motor with 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. The electric motor is mated to an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack, but the long-wheelbase version will get a larger battery pack. VW has not announced the ID. Buzz’s driving range, but it should be in the mid-250-mile range, just like the ID.4. An all-wheel-drive version is expected with a second electric motor that will power the front wheels, which will likely have around 295 horsepower.
There have been plenty of concerns about the environmental impact of the batteries that power EVs. VW says that the ID. Buzz’s battery doesn’t use cobalt, which is linked to unethical mining practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo. VW also plans to recycle the batteries at the end of the ID. Buzz’s lifecycle.https://www.treehugger.com/embed?url=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2Fuhn__P8w378&id=mntl-sc-block_1-0-15-iframe&options=e30%3D&docId=5221663
Charging the ID. Buzz won’t take too long thanks to its peak charge rate of 170 kilowatts, which means you can charge it from 5% to 80% in about 30 minutes.
Inside the ID. Buzz features seats that are wrapped in an animal-free material, and several of the other materials are made from recycled plastic. The ID. Buzz’s interior uses a fabric made of Seaqual yarn, with fibers consisting of 10% collected ocean plastic and 90% recycled PET bottles. The interior features a minimalistic design, but is also modern with its 10-inch digital instrument cluster and available 12-inch infotainment system display. The massaging front seats are also a nice touch.
Production of the ID. Buzz will kick off soon, with sales of the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo versions going on sale in Europe in the third quarter. While we will get to see the North American version in 2023, sales won’t start until 2024.