Volkswagen showed off the ID Buzz concept at the recent Geneva Motor Show. The fully electric microbus certainly got people talking. The vehicle harkens back to the original Microbus that garnered such a loyal following in the '50s and '60s. Rumors of a new Microbus have been floating around for many years. Until now there was little hope that a production model would ever come. However, VW seems like it wants to make a new microbus happen and it'll likely be an EV.
Recently, VW let the world know that it was going to focus more on electric vehicles in hopes of selling 1 million EVs per year by 2025. A big part of that is expected by many to be some kind of Microbus like the ID Buzz concept.
The ID Buzz concept borrows its overall styling from the iconic VW Type 2 Microbus that skyrocketed to stardom during the hippie era. Before the ID Buzz concept, VW had the BUDD-e concept that also resembled the classic microbus.
The BUDD-e (pictured below) was also an EV, and it featured a 100kWh battery that could deliver up to 373-mile range. The concept also featured a number of newer technology features, including gesture control and smart home and device connectivity. With a top speed of 93 mph and the previously mentioned range, it really got people talking about the possibility of a production model.
Before the BUDD-e made its debut at CES, VW had another impressive concept Microbus that appeared in 2001 (pictured below). That model had an exterior even more like the original Microbus. In the late 1990s, the New Beetle was a hit. That helped the folks at VW get the idea in their head that a new Microbus could be a good idea.
While the response to the Microbus Concept was mostly positive, VW decided instead to go with a more typical approach and built a minivan called the Routan. The Routan proved to be a major failure, and while we can't say whether or not the retro-styled Microbus would have been better, we think it could have at least been good for VW's brand.
It’s unclear if the VW Microbus that will eventually come to production will be more like the ID Buzz or the BUDD-e, but what is clear is that VW has some kind of high-tech
The upcoming Microbus may resemble the old bus of the 1950s but there’s no doubt it will be more complex and fully electrified. VW’s desperately trying to clean up its image after Dieselgate, and it sees the electrification of many models as the easiest way to do that.
The production version of the Microbus will likely feature a battery that fits the length of the vehicle underneath the floor and electric motors that spin all four wheels. The VW Microbus concepts have had ranges of over a couple hundred miles, which would make them truly viable options for most people. As battery technology progresses, it’ll be interesting to see what VW can get for the production model which is probably still at least a few years off.