CEO Of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Touts Electric I.D. Buzz

3 months ago by Steven Loveday 10

Volkswagen

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ in Pebble Beach. Ready to hit the waves …

Check out Volkswagen’s two-fold plan for the upcoming electric I.D. Buzz.

When many first saw the upcoming Volkswagen I.D. Buzz in its recent concept variant, some likely assumed it was just that … a concept. However, VW has officially confirmed it for production for 2022, and it’s now slated to come to North America.

Volkswagen

Inside the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz

This came as a bit of a surprise since there was a time that it looked like it may not make it to our shores, or at least not until long after its initial production date. Now, we have more news that further solidifies the Buzz’ future presence in America.

Volkswagen doesn’t currently have a model to compete in the U.S. commercial van/truck market.  The U.S. tariff on imported trucks has made this a difficult proposition, which hindered VW way back when its original minibus came to market. Nonetheless, rival brands like Nissan have pushed through to compete with the Big Three and profit from the venture. Now, VW is ready to get on board. CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Eckhard Scholz, explained:

“There is quite an opportunity for us in commercial in the United States. And this car has the flexibility to serve as both a passenger car and a commercial van.”

Volkswagen

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Cockpit

VW Group’s CEO Herbert Diess also shared that the Buzz may be outfit by dealers to meet the needs of contractors and small business owners that aim to get into a more iconic and stylish commercial vehicle. The fact that it will come with Level 3 autonomy may also be advantageous. Additionally, Scholz reminded that VW’s new MEB electric-vehicle architecture will use a flat, thin battery beneath the Buzz’ floor, which will create more useful and versatile passenger and cargo space.

Though the Buzz is far off, Volkswagen has already formed an alliance with Navistar International Corp. in order to gain an early footing in the U.S. large-truck segment.

The Volkswagen Buzz already made a visit to Pebble Beach for a showcase and photo-op and people seemed enamored with it. Scholz explained that it doesn’t portray the aggressive grille or stature of rivals’ commercial vehicles and boasts a welcoming aura. He said:

“We want to return to a happy look and the EV approach makes that possible.”

Diess also ventured on the trip to Pebble Beach. He wasn’t shocked to see Americans walking over to peek inside. The surfboard on its roof was surely a welcome touch. Diess remarked:

“It really is part of the California culture. We’ve tried six or seven times to bring back the Microbus over the years. It was never right. When you added an engine to the design, it changed everything. But now, with our new platform, as an EV, we can finally design it like it should be.”

Source: Automotive News

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10 responses to "CEO Of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Touts Electric I.D. Buzz"

  1. Scott Franco says:

    I had one of the last VW bus/vans they sold in the usa. It had that swivel front seat thing as well, and it was the Winnebego camper conversion. I even found a way to turn the second row seats around to face the back seats (club seating).

    It was a nice van. It didn’t sell well here because it cost as much as a full camper. It also burned through a lot of brakes because it was overweight for the brakes and tires provided.

    1. Goofcat says:

      We had a 87 camper that ate brakes for breakfast. Random parts fell off frequently. Often getting to the campsite was more eventful than the actual trip.

  2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    2022 is quite a while away.

    So much for VW accelerating EV’s…….lol

  3. Bob says:

    Always five years away… 🙂
    But it seems that it at least is management that says so, and not just the marketing department.

  4. Hans Wurst says:

    Another day, another VW promise

  5. chris says:

    They signed off on it so I believe it will happen. If course there is always marketing spin and feeling out the public but I think the stars are aligning for this.

  6. przemo_li says:

    Stark contrast with Bolt.

    Concept car for Bolt was not street legal. And optimized for glee. That’s for sure, bit they showed did that buy upgrading version they had designed during normal car development process.

    Buzz feel like, somebody on the design team got free hand to convince public and VW leadership that EVs can be cool.

    They succeeded but development team for real car will stay with blank sheet….

    MEB is not yet finalized, right?

    1. john Doe says:

      MEB was finalized earlier this year.

      There will be no changes on the platform – but on the different vehicles, there will be changes to everything but the platform.
      (Unless testing shows something very unexpected).
      The I.D is supposed to be ready for the first winter testing in Sweden (Arvidsjaur/Arjeplog) this winter.

      That will be of the prototypes that is very close to production ready. Before full automation kicks inn, at the factory – there will be a lot of testing, changes, and more testing. Then a small test series will be made, and then more testing – before they start main assembly line with fairly slowly ramping volume.

  7. Tom says:

    I must be nearly 20 years since I remember seeing my first claim of VW making a series hybrid diesel/electric car and I thought ‘wow that’s the best possible way to make a vehicle’. I’m sure it was before the Prius and when the Prius came out I thought ‘hey they did it wrong’. I might be mistaken. VW has even made compelling prototypes and the XL1 was an exercise in shear engineering ingenuity never fully realized. Point is these stories have been around awhile and everyone passes them off. However here’s a few points that I think are different this time (But I still love him!):

    1. That little diesel scandal seems to have permanently rocked their world and FORCED them to alter course.
    2. As already mentioned this is the top dog speaking not some blogger, car magazine, marketing VP, or engineer.
    3. w.r.t. the van specifically (vs the more general EV topic) I feel the technology now allows it. VW still sells vans by the way…just not in the US. I don’t think they could even come close to the original look due to crash test standards. The snub nose was a major impediment as well as the framing, b pillar width, and other structural concerns that robbed shape and space. A convergence of advanced structural materials (see the i3) and safety designs are converging with the big drop in batteries are coming together. Imagine doing something like a 100kwh battery pack just 5 years ago. I just looked up an article that said price for packs (cells plus the other costs) averaged $600/kwh in 2013. That’s $60,000 just for the battery. Back up 10 years and it’s double that again.

  8. Goofcat says:

    As a Porsche owner, I’m still shocked how nearly every “concept car” Porsche shows becomes a production car shortly. The little brother VW, seems to show concept cars just for show.

    If this thing gets made, with the right range (200+) and price point (>40k) it would sell very well.

    Right now EVs are made in body types that are very unpopular (sedans, compacts), trucks, suvs and vans are what people are buying. Hoping the EV makers finally come into the 1990’s.

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