Update: ‘VW ID. Buzz GTX’ sub-section added to ‘Future Variants.’
After more than five years of high anticipation, the production VW ID. Buzz has finally arrived as the modern-day VW Bulli (VW Bus/VW Microbus). The ID. Buzz joins the T6 and the all-new Multivan (T7) as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s third van. Along with the all-electric passenger van, there’s a zero-emission VW ID. Buzz Cargo commercial van. In this story, we’re focusing on the passenger model.
Here’s a comprehensive look at Volkswagen’s next-generation van:
The VW ID. Buzz is a daring futuristic interpretation of the VW Bulli, which first appeared as the VW T1 in 1950. Volkswagen designers haven’t gone overboard with retro looks, though. The overall design comes from the VW ID. Buzz concept unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Like the classic Bullis, the 21st century Bulli has a friendly and emotional character.
The VW ID. Buzz mixes curvy and sharply designed elements on the outside and the latter helps it look slightly aggressive and powerful, too. It has a signature V-shaped hood, honeycomb design in the front bumper, charismatic headlights incorporating the IQ.Light LED matrix technology, squarish windows, and slim horizontal LED tail lights. Then there are some true tell-tale EV signs, like extremely short overhangs, aero wheels, an LED strip between the headlights, an end-to-end light strip at the rear, etc.
The production ID. Buzz has quite a character on the sides. Besides the headlights extending into the fenders, it has a proper MPV-style four-part window area. The chunky wheels, short overhangs, and boxy body make the MPV stubby yet very charming. The two-tone color scheme makes things even more interesting. The seats, the armrests of the front seats, the storage box between the front seats, the dashboard, and the colored padding in the upper section of the door panels have rounded corners.
No frunk on the VW ID. Buzz
EVs score high on practicality. Compared to ICE-powered cars, the space under the bonnet is usually engineered for storage with reduced mechanical components. Call it the frunk (front trunk) or the fruit (front-boot), VW seems to have let go of this idea for the ID. Buzz. A video posted by Clint Simone on Twitter shows nothing behind the bonnet of the ID. Buzz apart from some chassis components, wiring, and washer fluid. The ID. Buzz has almost no front overhang, so there’s simply no space for front storage.
Popping the hood on the ID BUZZ – No frunk. pic.twitter.com/lENTHHSTu3— Clint Simone (@ClintSimone) February 2, 2022
Source: Clint Simone/Twitter
VWN will sell the ID. Buzz in seven base colors in Europe:
- Candy White
- Mono Silver metallic
- Lime Yellow metallic
- Starlight Blue metallic
- Energetic Orange metallic
- Bay Leaf Green metallic
- Deep Black pearl-effect
- Candy White/Lime Yellow metaillic (two-tone)
- Candy White/Starlight Blue metaillic (two-tone)
- Candy White/Energetic Orange metaillic (two-tone)
- Candy White/Bay Leaf Green metaillic (two-tone)
The production VW ID. Buzz interior looks quite similar to the VW ID.4. The cabin is airy and light with an Open Space theme, with a lounge-like atmosphere. The interior looks clean and straightforward but relatively modern and upmarket for a people mover.
The compact steering wheel has a flattish center cap and touch-sensitive controls. On the left of the driver is a control panel housing the light and vision functions, followed by a round AC vent. A floating touchscreen panel for the Discover Pro infotainment system resides in the middle of the dashboard, measuring 12 inches diagonally. However, the basic fitment is the Ready 2 Discover infotainment system with a smaller, 10-inch touchscreen panel.
An inclined surface below the central display has sliders to adjust the audio volume and temperature. Finally, right behind the steering sits a compact, 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster along with a rocker switch to select the drive modes and activate the parking brake. A head-up display is not available in the ID. Buzz.
The interior borrows style elements from the T1 generation. Its combination of white and fresh colors gives the occupants a refreshing ambiance. Of course, ambient lighting is part of the interior equipment. The standard system allows choosing from 10 colors, but a higher-end option is available to increase the number of choices to 30 colors. The metal pedals feature pause (brake pedal) and play (accelerate pedal) symbols, a signature interior design cue of VW ID. models.
It’s possible to adjust the length and height of the front seats by up to 245 mm (9.6 in) and 61.5 mm (2.4 in.), respectively. The driver seat features electric adjustment and memory and massage functions. There’s a special feature called ‘Buzz Box’ between the front seats. It’s basically a movable and removable center console.
The Buzz Box includes a 5-liter (1.3 gallon) drawer for keeping a laptop or clipboard, along with a cup holder, a 1.4-liter (1.5 quart) flip-lid compartment for a water bottle, and storage bins. It consists of an ice scraper and a bottle opener, too, both always easily accessible.
A honeycomb pattern is observed on the floor of the entry space of the second-row seats. A silhouette of the ID. Buzz carved on the plastic panels beside the outboard second-row seats is a nice easter egg. The designers have used a wink emoji as well, to add to the charming and funky character of the van. Another easter egg is a body-colored ID. Buzz motif in the cargo area. The designers have slyly put the silhouette of the EV on the rear drawer and back glass (beside the wiper’s tip), too.
The ID. Buzz (passenger model) greets the occupants with a distinct sound and also an interactive ‘ID. Light’ in front of the windscreen on entering and exiting it. ID. Light is a narrow illuminated strip that stretches across in front of the windscreen. It’s right in the driver’s field of vision, as its main purpose is to give visual alerts to the driver.
The ID. Light strip gives visual alerts in different positions and different colors. For example, for an instruction to change lane, it illuminates with a signal on the respective side (right or left). A signal in the right- or left-hand area of the strip, depending on the color, could also tell if there’s an obstruction in this area. When the entire light strip lights up in red, it means that the driver has to slam the brakes immediately, as it signals: “Beware! Brake!”
In the second row, there’s a three-person bench seat that can be folded down completely or split 40:60. It offers a length adjustment of up to 150 mm (5.9 in.). A height-adjustable luggage room floor is available as an option. There’s 1,121 liters (39.6 cu ft) of cargo space behind the seats, and folding down the bench increases the luggage capacity to 2,205 liters (77.9 cu ft). Even though small wheel wells protrude inwards, there seems to be a generous amount of space, enough to move homes.
The VW ID. Buzz, including the ID. Buzz Cargo, is Volkswagen’s most sustainable model worldwide. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) has used organic paint for the exterior of the EV. The company has avoided using real leather or any other animal-origin materials whatsoever.
Volkswagen has opted for substitute materials like polyurethane (for the steering wheel rim) and recyclates (for the seat covers, floor coverings, and headliner). Recyclates, which are materials made from recycled products, in this case, include SEAQUAL yarn, whose thread comprises approximately 10% marine plastic and about 90% recycled PET bottles. Another example of eco-friendly material in the electric microbes is ArtVelours ECO upholstery, in which the share of recyclates is 71%.
As an end-of-life cycle measure, VWN will prepare the battery pack of the ID. Buzz for a second use when scrapping it. An application that it is already considering for re-using the battery pack is the solar panel system of buildings.
The VW ID. Buzz offers automated parking with a memory function that parks the vehicle on a previously saved route and Travel Assist with swarm data for assisted lane changing on highways (at 56 mph and above).
Volkswagen Group has said that the ID. Buzz will be its first vehicle with autonomous driving, but it hasn’t included this feature at launch. At the company’s New Auto strategy event in July 2021, Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess talked about profiting from mobility and transport as a service. He said:
Fully autonomous will be an integral part of our business model in 2030. Robo-taxi services require four different layers of activity. A booking platform to match demand and supply, holding the customer data, and managing the payments. This platform can be highly profitable. The operation of the fleet, a service business which we are testing with our MOIA brand in Hamburg. The autonomous vehicle – we will start with the ID. Buzz AD. And then the virtual driver, the most complex software system the world has seen so far, in fact, a worldwide active neural network which continuously improves its driving capabilities. Also potentially very profitable.Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)
Christian Senger, Head of R&D MaaS/TaaS, Volkswagen Group, confirmed a ‘VW ID. Buzz AD’ featuring LiDAR:
LiDAR will be integrated in our first fully autonomous vehicle – the upcoming all-electric ID. Buzz AD, which will be used for our 2025 pilot service.Christian Senger, Head of R&D MaaS/TaaS, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)
World’s best driver
As per an Autocar report, Dr. Diess has said that Volkswagen aims to make “the world’s best driver” with this project. Volkswagen will launch private cars with autonomous driving eventually. The low-riding model it is developing under the VW Trinity project will be one of them, offering Level 3 autonomous driving at launch in 2026 and Level 4 autonomous driving from around 2030. The feedback and data it gathers from the ID. Buzz with autonomous driving may become helpful during the development of the Trinity project EV.
VW ID. Buzz AD
Volkswagen Group unveiled a camouflaged black and white ID. Buzz prototype at its New Auto Night event on the eve of the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021). The prototype is one of the first five self-driving test mules of the VW ID. Buzz AD (Autonomous Driving).
The autonomous electric van features a LiDAR on the roof that allows it to see objects from more than 400 meters (1,300 ft.) away. Pennsylvania-based Argo AI has made the LiDAR, and this proprietary sensor uses Geiger-mode technology that can detect even the smallest particles of light. So, even objects with low reflectivity, like black or purple vehicles, don’t go unnoticed.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, MOIA (a mobility company of Volkswagen Group), and Argo AI will deploy the VW ID. Buzz in an autonomous ride-pooling system in Hamburg, Germany, by 2025, with the ultimate goal of scaling it internationally. Argo AI planned to start mapping the streets of the test area in Q4 2021, where it manually drives the test vehicles throughout the city to create 3D maps. The initial test area is East of the Alster river, including Winterhude, Uhlenhorst, and Hohenfelde.
Once the initial testing and development phase is over, all three companies will conduct test drives with and without passengers to ensure a safe public launch in 2025. Prototype testing is undergoing at a test track near Munich airport. Soon, the scope of prototype testing will expand to public roads in Munich. Argo AI will use the learnings from the German project for the American market.
VW Group CEO takes a ride in the ID. Buzz Autonomous vehicle
On April 14, 2022, Volkswagen Group released a video (via YouTube) where CEO Herbert Diess and Alex Haag, MD of Argo AI go on a ride in a self-driving ID. Buzz in Munich. Even though the ID. Buzz is seen driving autonomously, a driver monitors the road ahead and keeps his hands on the steering, ready to intervene should the need arise.
Haag says that the vehicle deals with redundancies with multiple ‘pipelines’: the prototype has camera, radar and LiDAR, all of which can function independently or in a fusion. He adds that data from the sensors is used to build an environment model, following which data flows into a ‘prediction module.’ The commands then flow into a ‘planner’ and a ‘controller’ before they are sent to the vehicle.
The production VW ID. Buzz rides on the MEB platform, and it has two versions: standard-wheelbase and long-wheelbase. The standard-wheelbase version has debuted, while the latter will soon follow.
The standard-wheelbase ID. Buzz measures 4,712 mm (185.5 in.) in length, 1,985 mm (78.1 in.) in width, and 1,937 mm (76.3 in.) in height. It has a 2,988 mm (117.6 in.)-long wheelbase. The turning circle is unusually small for a vehicle this large – just 11.1 meters (36.4 ft).
Performance & Efficiency
A 12-module, 77 kWh battery pack and a 201 hp/229 lb-ft rear motor are standard at launch. The 77 kWh battery pack comes with an 8-year/160,000 km (100,000 miles) guarantee. The top speed is electronically-limited to 90 mph. The driving range has not been revealed.
VWN will introduce a new battery pack and new motor options at a later date. The future availability of a dual-motor eAWD option is a certainty. The battery pack options could be as large as 111 kWh. The biggest battery may deliver a range of between 325 and 350 miles (WLTP). As always, expect official EPA estimates to come out lower than the WLTP ratings.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance in March 2022, Scott Keogh, President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, has confirmed that the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will have a higher energy storage capacity. The rumored 111 kWh battery pack will likely be a standard fitment in the American ID. Buzz.
We want to do a specific version for the US market. This is going to have a third row, it’s going to have a bigger battery, it’s going to have a performance drive unit.Scott Keogh, President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America (Conversation with Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022)
VWN also talked about a 48 kWh battery pack when it unveiled the Cargo concept, saying that it is enough “if the transporter covers fairly normal distances in the city on a daily and weekly basis.” However, don’t expect that smallest option, if available, to come stateside.
In addition, Volkswagen may offer a solar roof option in select markets to extend the daily range by around 9 miles in sunny conditions. That would be a great optional feature in the U.S., especially in California.
Volkswagen’s current MEB platform models have a 400-volt charging system and support DC charging at up to 135 kW. The company plans to introduce a software update that increases the maximum charging power to 150 kW. The ID. Buzz can accept charging at 11 kW (AC)/170 kW (DC). Fast-charging from 5 to 80% level using direct current takes about 30 minutes.
The VW ID. Buzz will offer the Plug & Charge convenience feature in the future. Customers don’t require the charging card authentication process at supporting charging stations. It would happen automatically via encrypted communication by plugging in the charging cable.
Bi-directional charging is possible, which means customers can power their home (vehicle-to-home), charge other EVs (with vehicle-to-vehicle), and, eventually, maybe even make money (with vehicle-to-grid). Bidirectional charging would come quite handy during camping trips to power external equipment like speakers, cooking appliances, lights, etc.
|Aspect||VW ID. Buzz Cargo specification|
|Length||4,712 mm (185.5 in)|
|Width||1,985 mm (78.1 in.)|
|Height||1,937 mm (76.3 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,988 mm (117.6 in.)|
|Cargo Space (with 5 occupants)||1,121 liters (39.6 cu ft)|
|Cargo Space (with second-row bench folded down)||2,205 liters (77.9 cu ft)|
|Tires||235/60 R 19 105 T (front)/255/50 R 19 107 T (rear)|
|No. of Motor(s)||One|
|Motor Power||150 kW (201 hp)|
|Motor Torque||310 Nm (229 lb-ft)|
|Battery Pack Capacity (net)||77 kWh|
|AC Charging Power||11 kW|
|DC Charging Power||170 kW|
|DC Charging Time (5-80% SoC)||Approx. 30 minutes|
Select media publications were recently allowed to drive the VW ID. Buzz over a short distance. Autocar was one of them, and it came away impressed with the upcoming electric van. The British publication says that the showroom-bound ID. Buzz has a coil suspension and a really small turning circle (which we now know is 36.4 ft). The standard-wheelbase ID. Buzz Autocar rode in is not all that taller than its classic predecessor, but it’s a foot and a half longer and almost a foot wider. The long-wheelbase version following later would be bigger.
The VW ID. Buzz RWD offers a smooth and responsive in and has enough grunt for urban conditions, notes Autocar. It’s not scary-fast like a Tesla, obviously. The ID. Buzz is high on refinement and more suitable for daily use compared to rival LCVs. The motor runs noticeably quieter than one would expect in a vehicle like this, and the ride is calm and relaxed. The driving dynamics aren’t that great, and so, like any van, the ID. Buzz isn’t confident-inspiring to push into corners. It’s designed to move people and goods from point A to B in a relaxed manner.
ID. 3.1 software
The VW ID. Buzz should receive new and enhanced features with software updates throughout its lifecycle. Existing customers should continue improving their ID. Buzz with OTA updates. Volkswagen hasn’t said whether it will ship the first ID. Buzz units with the ID. Software 3.0 it announced in 2021 or the new ID. 3.1 software it announced in March 2022. Our bet is on the latter, though, because the former allows charging at up to just 135 kW.
On March 16, 2022, Ralf Brandstätter, CEO, Volkswagen, announced that the ID.5 and the ID. Buzz will be the first models to get the new ID. 3.1 software. The same day, at the Volkswagen Annual Media Conference 2022, he added that the v3.1 software (presumably compared to the v3.0 software) increases the driving range, reduces charging times, improves comfort, and optimizes operation. Improved voice control and individualized multi-stop route planning are among the other improvements of the Volkswagen ID. 3.1 software.
Plug & Charge support should be part of the v3.1 software. When Volkswagen introduced the ID. Buzz on March 9, 2022, it said that the ID. Buzz will offer Plug & Charge in the future, suggesting that a software update will enable this function in the electric Bulli.
The ID.Software 3.0 packs plenty of new and improved features (presumably over the ID.Software 2.3):
Intelligent driver assistance systems – Travel Assist with Swarm Data keeps the vehicle centered in the lane, or, if the driver prefers, to the left or right of the lane. Additionally, it can change the lane at speeds of 90 km/h (56 mph) or more on the highway, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and maintain a preset speed limit.
Park Assist Plus – It can search for a parking space (when driving up to a speed of 40 km/h or 25 mph for parallel spaces and up to 20 km/h or 12 mph for bay parking spaces) and autonomously park the vehicle.
Park Assist Plus with Memory Function – It can store up to five different parking maneuvers at speeds below 40 km/h (12 mph) and for a travel distance of up to 50 meters.
New displays – The AR HUD now includes additional displays in the long distance. It displays new symbols such as roundabouts and information on the remaining distance to arrive at the destination. The turn arrows look more integrated into the surroundings, which means they don’t interfere as much when viewing the road ahead. Another improvement is the addition of charging level (in percentage) to the instrument cluster. Navigation, too, has improved and gained new functions.
Optimized voice control – The voice control system now recognizes commands much faster and more precisely. Volkswagen claims the system’s improved recognition quality is now at around 95%.
Smart e-route planner – The central display now shows the charging menu on the first screen. Moreover, the charging menu has a new structure now for presenting more information, that too with more clarity.
The VW ID. Buzz and its commercial version will be available in many different configurations eventually. Senger shared highlights about the VW ID. Buzz’s different configurations in his presentation of the autonomous version.
A standard-wheelbase five-seat configuration for the ID. Buzz and standard-wheelbase two- and three-seat configurations for the ID. Buzz Cargo are available at launch. The ID. Buzz will induct standard-wheelbase six-seat and standard-wheelbase seven-seat (2+3+2) configurations at a later date. In the former, it will be possible to keep the Buzz Box in the middle of the second seating row, too.
Senger said that the ID. Buzz “will be a truly iconic and also highly versatile product.” Then, he shared revealed teasers (above) of the different seating layouts of its passenger versions and talked about them briefly.
It (ID. Buzz) will support EU-focused ride pooling for multiple customers sharing a ride at an even more attractive price and with the additional benefit of less inner-city traffic congestion. The ID. Buzz will provide safe access from one side and each seat will be individually accessible with a separate information screen for each passenger the more US-focused ride-hailing variant will provide a comfortable space for our customers traveling alone or in small groups of family and friends.Christian Senger, Head of R&D MaaS/TaaS, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)
Senger talked about the VW ID. Buzz Cargo, which could be a big volume driver in Europe. Moreover, he shared a teaser of a future commercial version’s interior that would be autonomous.
For our goods transportation solutions, the autonomous ID. Buzz Cargo provides the right base for many use cases, eliminating the requirement for a human driver and making parcel delivery even more productive.Christian Senger, Head of R&D MaaS/TaaS, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is evaluating various additional applications for the ID. Buzz, apart from those confirmed at the New Auto strategy event in July 2021. At the ITS World Congress 2021 held in October 2021, the company suggested making an ID. Buzz ‘BLCK’ autonomous business shuttle provides executive seating for four passengers. It could offer an ID. Buzz autonomous ambulance as well. You can watch these and other digitally imagined versions in the embed below:
Video Source: YouTube/Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge
VW ID. California campervan
In a press announcement on December 9, 2021, Volkswagen Group confirmed a new electric vehicle derivative called VW ID. California. In all likeliness, it was referring to a campervan version, the pure electric equivalent of the California campervan that employs an internal combustion engine. The latter could cease to exist by the end of the decade, as electric minivan models begin to appeal widely to customers.
Volkswagen Group will presumably derive the ID. California from the long-wheelbase version, offering it with the biggest battery pack in the line-up. It plans to launch it during the second half of the decade, following the 2024 ID. Buzz long-wheelbase passenger model.
VW ID. Buzz GTX
When you think of a performance-oriented GTX or GTI model, a van is not what immediately comes to mind. Not if you are VWN! With a unique take on the category, the ID. Buzz GTX promises offers plenty of features and some extra excitement.
Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, Volkswagen Group, confirmed on June 15, 2022, that a VW ID. Buzz GTX is in the pipeline. Below is what she said:
We will continuously expand this brand and offer a GTX variant for every ID. model in future – from the ID.3 to the ID. Buzz.Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, Volkswagen Group (June 15, 2022)
VWN manufactures the ID. Buzz at the Hannover plant, where it builds the T6.1 and Multivan, too. The series production of the VW ID.Buzz has started in Hannover, Germany, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VW N) reported on June 6, 2022. The ID. Buzz Cargo was already being made here, and now its van-sibling will be produced alongside. Specific conversions were made to this facility to accommodate electric vehicle production—a new body shop was introduced, and new sections were added to the assembly line for EV components.
Over 4,000 employees were trained on the working procedures to ensure a seamless start to manufacturing the ID.Buzz. After Zwickau and Emden, the Hannover plant is VW’s third electric vehicle manufacturing site.
ID. Buzz production for the U.S.
Keogh has said that the production of the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will take place alongside the Euro-spec version, as per an Automotive News report published on January 17, 2022. The initial sales volume is expected to be low (for North American production) at less than 100,000 units. The first units will be delivered from Germany in 2024.
On April 28, 2022, Reuters reported that Volkswagen is considering manufacturing the ID. Buzz and an electric truck at its Chattanooga plant (Tennessee) in the U.S. According to a Manager Magazin report, Volkswagen wants to construct a second factory in the U.S. and increase the American annual production capacity to 600,000 vehicles. The company could build the facility next to the Chattanooga plant. Local/regional production could make the ID. Buzz significantly cheaper and also improve its supply stability.
Price & Release Date
The VW ID. Buzz is available to pre-order in Europe and its market launch is locked-in for September 2022. Germany will be the first to receive the ID. Buzz.
The electric family van doesn’t come cheap, not even in its home market where it benefits from local production. Volkswagen says that the ID. Buzz passenger model (in a single ‘Pro’ trim) costs EUR 64,581.30 (USD 68,285) in Germany. The commercial model, the ID. Buzz Cargo (also in one single trim), costs EUR 54,430.60 (USD 57,552).
German customers are also given the usership option. Volkswagen Leasing offers a leasing option at EUR 661/month for the ID. Buzz Cargo and EUR 693/month for the ID. Buzz (Pro). A report from electrive.net says that, in addition, there’s a special leasing payment of EUR 5,000. This is a 36-month leasing agreement in which customers can drive the EV up to 10,000 km (6,214 miles) per year.
Reservations open in Norway & Sweden
Norway could be among the first countries where the VW ID. Buzz goes on sale. Volkswagen was already accepting reservations for the electric van’s Cargo version in the country before its official reveal. Both individuals and companies can reserve their ID. Buzz Cargo electric van today on butikk.vw.no. Booking now will give customers priority when sales begin later this year, Volkswagen says on the website.
Swedish customers can also pre-book the ID. Buzz, and both passenger and Cargo versions are available to reserve at online.volkswagen.se. The pre-bookings cost nothing and they are cancellable at any time. Volkswagen expects to start delivering the ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo in Sweden this fall.
VW ID. Buzz U.S. release date
The VW ID. Buzz U.S. launch will take place in 2024. The U.S.-spec ID. Buzz will be based on the long-wheelbase passenger model.
Keogh has revealed basic details about the U.S.-spec VW ID. Buzz, as per the Automotive News report mentioned above. The American-spec ID. Buzz will be bigger than the version showcased at the world premiere, and its wheelbase will be longer, Keogh said. The stretched version will be available as a three-row passenger van. In an interview with electrek in 2021, Dustin Krause, Director of E-Mobility, Volkswagen of America, had said that the “7-8-seat transporter” would accommodate tall people like him (6’3″) in the rear seats, as the seats ahead will be more toward the front of the vehicle than in SUVs.
The ID. Buzz traversed the Atlantic to be showcased in the U.S. for the first time in March 2022. The VW ID. Buzz was a part of this year’s South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas — the ID. Buzz was driven between two stations near the Austin Convention Center, delivering information and entertainment to on-lookers and jaywalkers via various ‘Buzz Stops.’ The EV’s appearance in Austin was a part of a larger 3-year sponsorship deal between VW and the South by Southwest event organizers. The festival was held between March 11-20, 2022.
The 2022 New York International Auto Show hosted the regional stage debut of the ID, Buzz. NYIAS 2022 took place from April 13-24, 2022, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The long-wheelbase (passenger) ID. Buzz planned for the U.S. in 2024 will debut in 2023, Volkswagen confirmed in the same announcement.
Significant customer interest recorded at U.S. dealerships
During a conference call with the media on March 21, 2022, Keogh said that the dealer response for the ID. Buzz in the U.S. “is significant,” as per a report from InsideEVs. Customers have started inquiring dealers about ID. Buzz reservations in the U.S. and one dealer has received 75 reservation inquiries, Keogh said. Speaking further, he said that the company could localize the ID. Buzz “if demand is beyond what Hannover can deliver.”
While speaking to Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022, Keogh suggested that there’s a record-breaking demand for the ID. Buzz in the U.S. and Volkswagen will likely need to come prepared for an extremely high demand at launch. Keogh expects the ID. Buzz to be a “home run” for the German brand here.
The fact of the matter is I’ve never seen this much demand for a vehicle. I get emails from dealers, I get paintings from small children, I get hugs from grandmothers. They want to be first in line. So this thing just covers every spectrum imaginable. So I think it’s going to be a home run.Scott Keogh, President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America (Conversation with Yahoo Finance on March 21, 2022)
Volkswagen Group’s American ambitions in line with the Biden plan
Volkswagen (brand) plans to invest USD 7.1 billion investment towards the expansion of its line-up and regional R&D and manufacturing capabilities in North America by 2027. The company aims to convert 55% of its U.S. sales to EVs by 2030.
North American manufacturing of EVs and their components will be crucial in achieving Volkswagen’s ambitious targets for EVs in the United States. The German automaker will start making the ID.4 in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, this year and will add new EVs to its North American factories in the coming years, including new SUVs like the VW ID.8. It also plans to upgrade plants in Puebla and Silao, Mexico, to assemble EVs and components, including motors, by mid-decade.
Volkswagen Group is considering building a battery cell production facility in the U.S., which could prove to be big support for the Volkswagen brand. Moreover, it plans to launch more than 25 new EVs in America through 2030. U.S. President Joe Biden intends to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles. Volkswagen Group is in a solid position to achieve the target, as it is likely to speed up the launch of its new EVs in the United States.
We are ready to bring a wide range of highly attractive EVs tailored to the U.S. market, and participate over-proportionally at a time when everybody has to start from scratch. The ID.4 had a flying start, perfectly in time for Biden’s push towards e-mobility.Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy in 2021)
The VW ID. Buzz is a big deal for Volkswagen Group in the U.S. market, where it faced a major setback following the diesel gate scandal in 2015 and is trying to rebuild its reputation.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is evolving more and more into a lifestyle brand, offering the range of famous California vehicles and soon launching our most emotional electric car so far – the ID. Buzz. It will significantly contribute to enhancing the appeal of the Volkswagen brand, reloading it with emotions and love, particularly in the United States where the coming home after 30 years will boost our EV campaign in the market and bring back the emotional touch with all the memories of from the 70s.Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy in 2021)
Volkswagen Group could launch several niche models to intensify customer interest in its EVs in the coming years. After the New Auto strategy announcement in July 2021, Dr. Diess said that the company needs more emotional products, as per another report from Automotive News. Cars like the VW ID. Buzz adds exclusivity to the brand and helps it stand out from the competition. The company expects to increase its market share in the U.S. to 10% by the end of the decade. Dr. Diess thinks that the modern-day VW microbus would be popular in the country.
VW ID. Buzz FAQs
What is the VW ID. Buzz release date?
The ID. Buzz will go on sale in Europe this autumn, and in the U.S. in 2024.
Which VW ID. Buzz versions will be available?
The VW ID. Buzz will be available in passenger, cargo, ride-pooling, and campervan (ID. California) versions.
Which models will be VW ID. Buzz alternatives?
The VW ID. Buzz will likely compete with the Peugeot e-Traveller, Citroen e-SpaceTourer, and Opel Vivaro e-Life.
Featured Image Source: Volkswagen Group