Ever since Volkswagen pulled the cover off the ID. Buzz concept back in 2017, we’ve been patiently waiting for the final production version of its electric bus to arrive. It's finally happened with today's official debut of the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo. The latter won’t be available in the United States, but the passenger version will go on sale here in 2024. More on that in a minute, but first, let's dive into the details about the “new face of sustainability mobility” at Volkswagen.
From the outside, the ID. Buzz probably doesn’t look all that new. The overall shape and proportions remain very close to the 2017 concept, which in turn was heavily inspired by another Volkswagen concept van from 21 years ago. As usual, the front fascia is less futuristic in the production model compared to the 2017 prototype. The short body overhangs – a key design element of the original VW T1 – help the relatively compact electric vehicle (185.5/4,712 millimeters long in standard wheelbase form) keep a solid stance when viewed from the side despite its cheerful appearance.
Gallery: 2022 ID. Buzz
The simplicity of the electric drive system means there’s no need for a large engine compartment, which allows the ID. Buzz to retain the original van’s one-box shape. The two-tone finish, covering portions of the front fascia, is another nod to the iconic T1. LED lights can be found all around, including at the back where the taillights are connected by a coast-to-coast light strip, marking a first for a VW commercial vehicle.
Benefitting from the advantages of the MEB architecture, the interior of the zero-emissions bus has five seats in the standard length option. There are two individual seats with adjustable armrests in the first row of seating. Integrated into the backrests of each front seat is a side thorax airbag, and in the driver's seat, there is also a new center airbag. In the event of a crash, it protects the driver and front-seat passenger from hitting each other. Each front seat can be adjusted up to 9.6 in (245 mm) forward and aft. Behind them, there’s a three-person bench seat.
Later during the model’s life cycle, a six-seat version will be added with two rows of three individual seats. In turn, the extended wheelbase model – the one that will be sold in the United States starting in 2024 – will be available as a seven-seater with a 2-3-2 seat arrangement. With the rear seats folded down, this initial version of the ID. Buzz can swallow up to 39.6 cubic feet (1,121 liters) of cargo, but there's no frunk. As a side note, Volkswagen will offer a non-animal material as an alternative to traditional leather.
If you’ve ever driven some of Volkswagen’s ID electric vehicles, you’ll probably feel very familiar with the dashboard when you get behind the steering wheel of the ID. Buzz. A standard 10-inch digital instrument cluster provides core information about the vehicle, while another display on the center console is used for infotainment functions. The standard option here is a 10-inch screen and a larger 12-inch one is an option – both “looking like free-floating tablets.” Below the center display – like on all other ID models – is a digital control bar where the HVAC module and the volume controls are located.
The market launch of the ID. Buzz is scheduled for later this year when European customers will be offered a single 82.0-kWh (77.0 kWh net) battery option. The official figures for the Old continent show power comes from a single electric motor with 201 horsepower (154 kilowatts) and 229 pound-feet (310 Newton-meters) of instant torque – figures that match the current VW ID.4. Unfortunately, Volkswagen is not ready to announce range numbers and these will follow at a later date. More battery versions and additional power output levels will be launched starting next year.
The maximum charging power when plugged into an AC station is 11.0 kW, while a CCS connector at a DC station allows for charging rates of up to 170.0 kW. Recharging from 5 to 80 percent will take about 30 minutes at a fast-charging station. Customers in Europe will also benefit from an optional bi-directional charging function, which means they’ll be able to power their homes with the electricity in the battery.
As mentioned above, the ID. Buzz – in both passenger and cargo versions – will launch in Europe in the third quarter of this year in standard wheelbase form. Next year, the long-wheelbase model will be released for Europe followed by a US debut and a market launch in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The electric bus that will come to America will be a few inches longer and will have an extra 3.0 inches or so in its wheelbase compared to the European model. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will be responsible for the production of the ID. Buzz at its main plant in Hannover, where an automation level of up to 90 percent has been achieved.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz