After initially confirming the production version of the I.D. Buzz electric van without specifying whether or not the U.S. market would be able to buy one, Volkswagen has made it official. The automaker will sell the I.D. Buzz to customers in the United States, although those customers will have to wait a few years for the privilege.
To be fair, so will customers in China and Europe, who also must wait until 2022, when Volkswagen puts the I.D. Buzz into production. First shown in concept form at the 2017 Detroit auto show, the remastered Microbus eschews the original’s air-cooled flat-four engine, compact dimensions, and cab-over-axle layout for an electric skateboard chassis stuffed with batteries. The modular architecture will be shared with Volkswagen’s other upcoming EVs, including the I.D. hatchback, which will beat the I.D. Buzz to market. Among VW’s promises for the electric van are a 250-plus-mile driving range, passenger and cargo versions, and available autonomous capabilities.
Although it is undeniably cool that Volkswagen is continuing the Microbus lineage with a retro-futuristic take on the classic van, we have mixed feelings about the Buzz’s on-sale timing. Based on the wildly enthusiastic reactions of passersby in and around Monterey—VW made the announcement at the upscale Pebble Beach golf resort during Concours weekend and drove the Buzz around a lot—we think the electric bus would be the best vessel for launching Volkswagen’s planned flotilla of all-electric vehicles. Instead, the Buzz will follow the far less interesting-looking (and mechanically similar) I.D. hatchback and several other I.D. models to market by several years.
Volkswagen tells us this delay has to do with its reservations over whether or not to even build the Buzz at all. We’re glad the decision to build it was made, but surely a stylish, cool product like the Buzz would have been a much better way to generate, uh, buzz for the company’s promised 20 to 30 EVs by 2025 than the more conventional I.D. hatchback.
- The best thermometer for cold and flu
- The best 55-inch TV for 2020: LG, TCL and more compared
- The best phones for 2020
- The best gas grills for 2020
- SpaceX, NASA make history by successfully launching two astronauts to ISS
- Best electric toothbrush for 2020: Quip, Colgate, Sonicare and more compared
- The best chest strap heart-rate monitors, as rated by Amazon reviews
- COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
- Could iPhone SE’s one camera beat the Galaxy A51’s four? Here’s how they compare