After nearly nine months since unveiling the design of its new electric minibus, Volkswagen has officially announced that the I.D. Buzz will be launched by 2022. Based on the design of the iconic 1960s Microbus, the vehicle will have a range of up to 600 kilometres.
“This vehicle units past and future as well as Pebble Beach and the Silicon Valley,” is how Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess described his company’s decision to move forward with production of the all-electric I.D. Buzz.
It’s no coincidence that the announcement was made at Pebble Beach, CA.
“The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by developing Volkswagen’s next e-generation and by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle,” explained Diess.
Rumours of an all-electric Microbus have been swirling for years, and Volkswagen added fuel to the fire back in January at the Detroit motor show when it unveiled the first designs of its I.D. Buzz concept.
“After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’,” said Diess.
The I.D. Buzz will have an electric range of up to 600 kilometres and will take around 30 minutes to charge up to 80 per cent, thanks to its 150 kW charging power.
The batteries will be mounted in the vehicle floor and the electric drive will not take up much space, resulting in a more spacious interior. The I.D. Buzz will be able to seat up to eight people, with space for bikes or surfboards.
“The vehicle therefore looks like a short compact van on the outside, even as it offers the generous interior space of a large van”, said Diess, conjuring up images of the iconic 1960s Microbus.
The zero emissions, all electric multi-purpose vehicle will also feature a fully automated driving mode as of 2025. Volkswagen’s ‘I.D. Pilot’ mode uses laser scanners, ultrasound sensors, radar sensors, area-view cameras and a front camera to scan the surrounding area for other drivers and obstacles.
Volkswagen also announced plans to launch a version to transport cargo. “It’s an ideal electric van concept, particularly for inner cities,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Eckhard Scholz of the I.D. Buzz Cargo.
Volkswagen is mainly targeting the markets in North America, Europe and China with its I.D. Buzz. Its goal is to have more than 30 all-electric models by 2025.
Image credit: Volkswagen