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Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Clean Transport

Volkswagen Is Finally Launching The ID. Buzz!

There are a few electric vehicles that have been teased for so long that they’ve practically become jokes among EV enthusiasts. There’s the Tesla Semi and the Tesla Roadster 2 (unveiled more than 4 years ago). There’s the Apple electric car (though, that’s been more of a case of rumors than teases). There are various others with lower profile. And then there’s … the Volkswagen ID. Buzz. The Buzz takes the cake in this category.

It’s an interesting situation for several reasons. For one, the original Volkswagen hippie bus is one of the most iconic vehicles ever. Heck, I know many will argue with me, but I think it may well be the most iconic vehicle model in history. Such a claim will always be controversial, but I know many will also agree with me and that they hold a special place for the bus in their hearts. The hippie bus/van is a key symbol or a huge era in human history, one that was very well loved and often romanticized. (It was before my time, but I’m somehow nostalgic for this bus and era myself — oddly.)

So, without a doubt, a new, futuristic, and electric version of the VW hippie bus was bound to attract interest, and it did. But then Volkswagen dragged it out, dragged it out, dragged it out, and dragged it out. At long last, though, it appears that Volkswagen is going to launch the ID. Buzz on March 9. So implies Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.

As a commenter reminds us, here’s a Super Bowl commercial about the Buzz from 2019:

The production version will not be as cool and futuristic as the concept vehicle we’ve been gawking at for years, as we’ve seen the other ID models (the ID.3 and ID.4) lose a bit of their futuristic look as they’ve gotten to the production-vehicle stage. I’m anticipating that losing the cool, futuristic look will be the biggest letdown for me. I just love these other-worldly images of the yellow concept minibus/van. Here are several as a final reminder:

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus, with surfboard on top. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van and original hippie bus/van. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus — ideal for camping? Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. That steering wheel won’t make it into the production van/minibus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Oh yeah. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus, included cameras for mirrors — highly unlikely in production version. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

coming electric campers Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, aka hippie bus. Image courtesy of Volkswagen.

While I don’t expect the production ID. Buzz to be as cool as the concept ID. Buzz, I do expect it to be an attractive, appealing, electric everything-vehicle.

Several years ago, I talked with a Volkswagen exec about the Buzz while at a conference. He indicated to me that, despite all of the enthusiasm for the vehicle, they were really unsure how many people would actually buy the Buzz. This is surely part of the reason for the later launch. It’s not exactly a popular vehicle class these days. We’re not in the 1960s or 1970s any more. Very little is the same — especially in the automotive world. People may get excited about the Buzz, but who will buy one?

Personally, I still think the Buzz could be a huge hit. As hinted above, I see it as a rather multi-purpose kind of vehicle, and that’s a highly desired thing in the 2020s. “Van life” is in. Millennials and whatever the younger generations are called don’t just want a commuter car or SUV like their parents had. They want a more fluid and break-from-the-norm life and vehicle (imho). I think the Buzz will appeal to them about as much as it appeals to Baby Boomers who want to revive the spark from their teenage years and 20s — or just want to enjoy a certain type of freedom again. Or maybe that’s just my dream.

In any case, I’m excited to see what Volkswagen has come up with to make the Buzz unique, fun, exciting, and reminiscent of a simpler life. How will they try to bring us back to a much simpler, purer, more carefree era? (Yes, I’m well aware that such a description may make some of you think I’m crazy, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

VW ID.Buzz

Image courtesy of Volkswagen

 
 
 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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