We all remember the classic VW Bus. In SA you may know it by the names Kombi or Microbus. If you are in Germany then ‘Bulli’ is the preferred term. If you are of a certain age you may call it a “Hippy Wagon”. Whatever name you choose, it all refers to the same classic design. Now, VW’s famous bus has been reimagined for the digital and electrified age as the VW ID.Buzz. 

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Two versions

The VW ID.Buzz debuted today in two forms: a regular five-seat passenger version and a van called the Cargo, which has 2-3 seats and a cavern of cargo volume. Both versions are based on the company’s modular electric platform. The Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) underpins many of the products within VW’s all-electric portfolio (you can see more of the range here).

Initially the ID.Buzz will be offered with five seats, two up front, and a three-seat bench in the rear, with a large area for luggage 1 121 litres according to VW. However, VW will offer a six-seater with two three-seat benches soon. The same basic shape will be used for future concepts, including a carpooling autonomous shuttle, says VW’s press material.

Check out an original VW bus with an electrified drivetrain at this link.

Battery power

Volkswagen says that ID.Buzz derivatives will feature an 82 kWh battery, at least for the foreseeable future. The battery pack is mounted low in the floor. Electricity is sent to a rear-mounted electric motor that has 150 kW of power and 310 N.m of torque. The motor is connected to the rear axle, just as in the original VW Bus. Top speed of the ID.Buzz is quoted as 145 km/h although there is no mention of range on a full charge.

In addition, the pair features Plug & Charge and bidirectional charging. Plug and charge mean it can be charged from any typical wall socket. Bidirectional charging enables the ID. Buzz to feed unneeded energy from the battery into an owner’s home network, pretty nifty. 

You can read about VW’s electric brand strategy at this link

High-tech and eco-friendly

To be truly eco-friendly the ID.Buzz is said to be entirely carbon neutral. Notably, that applies to everything from offsetting emissions during manufacture to no leather used in the cabin. Sustainable materials in the cabin are made from recycled plastics including ocean waste and used PET bottles. These recycled materials are contrasted with a high-tech interconnected interior where everything is soft controlled. There is a touchscreen in the middle of the facia and even the climate controls are handled by capacitive controls.

The VW ID.Buzz in action