Volkswagen has confirmed that it will put the ID Buzz electric concept car into production.

At the Detroit Show in early 2017, Volkswagen showed the ID Buzz concept car, a fully electric vehicle that it said ‘taps in to the spirit and vibe that made the VW Microbus such an iconic vehicle — whether with Hippies and families in the Sixties or Surfer Dudes and Van Lifers today’.

The chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz, announced the decision at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. 

Within the framework of further development, Volkswagen has also set a launch date for the ID Buzz. The vehicle will arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the compact four-door ID makes its debut. With the ID Buzz, Volkswagen is mainly targeting markets in North America, Europe and China.

“After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said in Pebble Beach. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.”

Just like the concept car that was shown in Detroit, the production model will also have its batteries mounted in the vehicle floor. Because the electric drive components — electric motor, power electronics, and such —don’t take up much space, the vehicle has a long wheelbase with short overhangs, allowing for a massively spacious interior and great proportions. “The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV,” Diess explained.

CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, Hinrich Woebcken added: “We are delighted that our parent company has taken the decision to produce the ID Buzz. This vehicle is the perfect balance between emotion, usability and sustainability, while also showcasing our technological leadership. The high seating position, cargo capacity, overall versatility and all-wheel drive option packaged into such an appealing design is just what our customers want from us. And it’s the perfect fit for the zero-emissions American lifestyle.”

The ID Buzz won’t just be a passenger vehicle. Just like the classic T2, the ID Buzz will both haul people and haul freight. “Along with a minibus version, we’ll also be offering an ID Buzz Cargo variant for zero-emissions delivery of goods,” said Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz. “With Level 3 autonomous capability, this is an ideal concept for an electric van, particularly for delivering packages and goods to the inner cities.”

Based on the new all-electric architecture, the production version of the ID Buzz will incorporate many design ideas from the concept car, including multi-variable seating, interactive connectivity and highly automated driving, VW says.