Today is the day VW bus enthusiasts have been waiting for since 2001, when the German automaker unveiled the Microbus concept at the Detroit Auto Show.
More than two decades and three battery-powered concept vehicles later, we finally have a production model that, just like the original, is available in passenger and cargo van body styles.
The commercial vehicle variant, called VW ID. Buzz Cargo, unfortunately, will not be available in the United States. The automaker hasn’t said why, but it’s likely because of the chicken tax that sees light trucks imported into the United States apply a 25% tariff.
From the ID. Buzz Cargo will be built alongside the ID. Buzz at the VW factory in Hannover, Germany, he qualifies for the tariff. That said, let’s see what American buyers are going to miss.
The identity. Buzz Cargo will launch in the third quarter of this year in Europe in standard wheelbase form, just like its MEB platform sibling, the ID. Buzz. It will share an 82 kWh (77 kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack with the passenger version when sales begin, with more battery versions with different power levels expected to follow in 2023.
The battery is mounted in the floor of the vehicle, which is supposed to give identification. Buzz Cargo’s nimble handling for a vehicle of its size. The pack powers a 201 horsepower electric motor, which sends up to 229 lb-ft (310 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels. The maximum speed of the ID. Buzz Cargo in this configuration is at 90 mph (145 km/h).
As for charging, the AC power is 11 kW and increases up to 170 kW via a CCS connector on a DC fast charging station. Charging the battery from 5% to 80% takes just 30 minutes with DC fast charging.
The identity. Buzz Cargo shares exterior dimensions with ID. Buzz, with a wheelbase of 117.6 inches (2,988 mm), an overall length of 185.5 inches (4,712 mm) and a width of 78.1 inches (1,985 mm). There is only a slight difference in height – 1 millimeter or 0.04 inches – in favor of the cargo variant due to slight differences in the chassis.
The VW ID. Buzz Cargo will be launched with three seats in the standard cabin (driver’s seat plus double bench seat), with an individual seat for the front passenger which will be offered as an option. Behind the seats is a fixed bulkhead that separates the cargo space; VW will offer the bulkhead with an optional window and an opening for loading items.
Cargo space measures 137.7 cubic feet (3.9 cubic meters), which is enough to accommodate two euro pallets. Loading the van is through a wide-opening tailgate and passenger-side sliding door. A second sliding door will be available as a custom option. Loads can be secured with lashing rings in the floor and bars on the side walls.
Unfortunately, it lacks key specs including estimated range, curb weight, payload – essential for a utility vehicle – and price.
While the standard wheelbase ID. Buzz Cargo will arrive in Europe later this year, a long wheelbase variant with more cargo space will be launched in 2023. Production of the standard wheelbase ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo will start in the first half of this year.