Volkswagen’s EV version of iconic ‘hippie’ camper van is coming to the US next YEAR for
Volkswagen’s iconic Type 2, the nostalgic camper van of hippies, surfers, and cross-country wanderers, is coming back to the US as an electric vehicle.
Rebranded as the ‘ID Buzz’, the new VW Bus promises to have more storage space and power than its cousins overseas: three rows of seating compared to the two-row European model and a 91 kWh battery pack over EU version’s 82 kWh battery.
Purely showing off, the VW emblem emblazoned on the Buzz, American-style, glows with its headlights, very likely the largest illuminated logo of anything on the road.
VW unveiled the three-row, American ID Buzz in California today — but any nostalgic eco-conscious hippies who want to get their hands on one will have to wait until the van officially hits the marker in 2024. In the meantime, here’s what else to expect from the US variants of VW’s new throwback EV.
Rebranded as the ‘ID Buzz’, the new VW Bus promises to have more storage space and power than its cousins overseas: three rows of seating compared to the two-row European model and a 91 kWh battery pack over EU version’s 82 kWh battery (all images provided by Volkswagen)
The US version of the ID Buzz (above with its mid-century inspiration) is all electric and carbon-neutral. Its 91 kWh battery achieves a range well over 250 miles before needing to recharge
The eco-friendly car is made with recycled synthetic materials and the interior is completely free of any real leather – making it totally ‘animal-free’ but still giving a luxury, ‘lounge-like’ feel.
Autonomous features include the ‘Car2X’, which uses signals from other vehicles and the transport infrastructure to spot hazards in real time, and ‘Memory Function’ for automated parking on a previously saved route.
Volkswagen believes the van will be part of ‘the future of inner-city transport’, where trips are shared by multiple passengers in vehicles hailed by apps.
ID Buzz was first shown off in concept form at the 2017 Detroit motor show, with the promise that it would go on sale in 2022 – a date that Volkswagen has actually delivered on.
Prices are still to be officially confirmed for the US model due in 2024, although it will reportedly start in the region of $50,000, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Volkswagen has also announced a second version of the model, called ID Buzz Cargo in European markets, which will feature space for two euro pallets for more heavy duty loads. ID Buzz Cargo isn’t due until 2025 and could cost £50,000.
‘The ID Buzz is a genuine icon for the electric era – a car the likes of which only Volkswagen can build,’ said Ralf Brandstätter, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
Prices are not yet official for the US model, although it’s estimated to start in the region of $50,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. Other estimates suggest an MSRP of $40,000
In typical American style, the US ID Buzz is fitted with a new 12.9-inch screen across all models, compared to the EU version’s 10-inch or 12-inch touchscreen options
With five people on board, there’s room for approx. 39.6 cubic feet (1,121 liters) of luggage, but if the second row of seats is folded down, capacity increases up to 77.8 cubic feet (2,205 liters)
‘In the 1950s, the Volkswagen Bulli [as the VW Bus is called in Germany] stood for a new feeling of automotive 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, ID Buzz has an ‘iconic front’ with its V-shaped front panel between ‘charismatic’ LED headlights and two-tone paintwork.
With five people on board, there’s room for approximately 39.6 cubic feet (1,121 liters) of luggage, but if the second row of seats is folded down, this load capacity increases to up to 77.8 cubic feet (2,205 liters).
ID Buzz is all electric, making it carbon-neutral, and has an on-board 91 kWh battery, which should achieve a range well over 250 miles before drivers need to recharge.
170-kW charging also means the vehicle’s battery can be charged from 5 to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
ID Buzz and ID Buzz Cargo are zero-emission vehicles, letting owners ‘counter the climatic challenges of our time’, according to the firm.
The VW emblem emblazoned on the Buzz, American-style (left), glows with its headlights, very likely the largest illuminated logo of anything on the road. A new panoramic sunroof on the ID Buzz (right) transitions from clear to opaque thanks to novel ‘electrochromic-tinted’ glass
In typical American style, the US ID Buzz is fitted with a new 12.9-inch screen across all models, compared to the EU version’s 10-inch or 12-inch touchscreen options.
The display, next to the driver’s line of vision, provides information including current speed and range remaining on the electric battery.
ID Buzz also has something called ‘bidirectional charging’, which allows users to take energy from car batteries and put it back to the power grid to help balance spikes in electricity demand.
In other words, it allows electric cars to be used as temporary energy reserves, potentially charging your TV and kitchen appliances for you.