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VW ID. Buzz Electric Cargo Van

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Volkswagen — ID. Buzz Sales Surge, Norway All EV By 2024

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is sold out for 2022 in Norway and Germany even though deliveries have not begun yet.

The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is sold out for 2022 in Germany and Norway, even though deliveries won’t begin until later this year. Production began at the company’s commercial vehicle factory in Hannover, Germany, in May. 3,400 orders have been booked in Norway, 2,500 in Germany, 1,100 in the Netherlands, 1,000 in Belgium, and 2,000 in other European countries.

The news was sent to all employees at the Hannover factory in an email from Lars Krause, the head of commercial vehicle sales at Volkswagen, according to Automobilwoche. “10,000 orders, without the car actually being at the dealer, let alone a customer having driven it. That is just impressive,” Krause wrote. “I am very pleased that the ID Buzz and the ID Buzz Cargo are already selling so well. We are, after all, still in the launch phase, before the market launch. Pre-sales have not even started yet in France and the UK,” he added.

Volkswagen is targeting sales of 15,000 ID. Buzz vehicles for 2022, which means that more than two-thirds of the available supply have already been sold. In 2023, the company expects to manufacture 60,000 of them and up to 130,000 a year thereafter. Prices for the ID Buzz start at 54,430 euros ($57,220) in Germany for the Cargo version and 64,581 euros ($67,891) for the five passenger Pro version.

In May, Krause said he expects Europe to be the core market for the ID. Buzz, but he hinted that sales in the US could be significant as well. Deliveries in the US are expected to begin in 2024.

Volkswagen Has Big Plans For The ID. Buzz

Using technology developed with Argo AI, Volkswagen wants to make the ID. Buzz the basis for a fleet of self-driving taxis and delivery vans worldwide. The company also has plans to produce battery electric versions of the Transporter 6.1, e-Crafter cargo van, and California camper van to join the ID. Buzz in its commercial vehicle lineup.

Volkswagen To Go All Electric In Norway

Ulf Tore Hekneby is the CEO of Harald A. Møller, the importer of Volkswagen vehicles into Norway. He announced this week that his company will no longer import Volkswagen passenger car with internal combustion engines after January 1, 2024. That means no hybrids or plug-in hybrids, only battery electrics, according to a report by Norway Posts. Norway has announced a ban on cars with internal combustion engines by the end of 2025, so this news means Volkswagen will be two full years ahead of the curve in Norway, which already has some of the most aggressive electric vehicle policies of any country.

But Hekneby wants Norway to do more. “The 2025 target has been a huge success, with cross-party agreement and good means of action. But we are only a little bit along the way, because there is still a very large part of the car fleet on the passenger car side that are not zero emission cars. Only 18 percent of the car fleet is fully electric today, and when we look to the future, we have to look at what that target should be.” Hekneby refers to a report by the Institute of Transport Economics, which has calculated that only 50 per cent of Norway’s cars will be electrified by 2036 if all current incentives, including a zero VAT, are kept in full force and effect.

“But the authorities have decided that there will be VAT on electric cars from 1 January next year, and then TØI says that it will take longer, probably 2042. We think that it is not realistic to get anything done with the decision on the VAT, and we respect that. At the same time, we think that we should be aggressive with a goal that more than half of the passenger car fleet should be zero-emission cars in 2040. We have to get the politicians, the special interests, and our colleagues in the car industry involved. Only then do we have a chance of achieving it.”

Hekneby wants Volkswagen to be at the forefront of the EV revolution in Norway. Ideally, he would like the company to start selling only zero emissions vehicles by 2035 — five years before the rest of the market. “We are in a better position than the market today, with our zero emission share of the car fleet of 22 per cent.” He would like to see a scrappage program to encourage drivers to give up their conventional cars sooner.

Sales of electric cars in Norway are strong but hampered by restrictions in the delivery process. “The delivery situation is demanding, but we feel that the customers have a great understanding of the situation and are patient. They are willing to wait for the electric cars, and that means that it will only be a matter of delayed sales and not lost sales, as we are experiencing the situation now.”

Secretary General Christina Bu of the Electric Vehicle Association is pleased with Møller’s electric car ambitions. “I think it’s great. It is brilliant that parts of the industry are showing that a hundred percent zero-emission share is entirely possible to achieve, even before 2025. We know that the faster we get to one hundred percent electric new car sales, the faster we will cut emissions. When that is what they offer, then that is also what people have to buy.”

But she has some concerns as well. “This applies to passenger cars. What year do they put on vans? Vans are also part of the 2025 target, and I hope that Møller also works to electrify its van fleet, because we are lagging far behind there. Electric vehicles have a market share of 17 per cent so far this year, compared to 78 per cent for passenger cars.”

That is where the ID. Buzz and battery electric versions of the T1 Transporter enter the picture. The only question is whether Volkswagen will be able to manufacture and deliver enough of them to meet the demand.

People on the Reddit EV forum had some things to say about Volkswagen’s decision to stop selling combustion-engine cars at the end of next year.

  • iqisoverrated — “With market share of combustion engines in the single digits this is a bit of a no-brainer. If you have no sales of a product you stop selling that product.”
  • trevize1138 — “This is exactly what the ‘no way EVs can be 100% of sales by 2035’ argument misses. It’s only partially about EV production ramping up by 2035. The other side of it is the ICE becoming a non-viable product.”
  • Necessary-Elk-45 — “Yeah, I often use a typewriter vs computer (edit: in the 1990’s) metaphor. You can prefer typewriters all you want but eventually the computer will do more things for less money and will just be an objectively better product. I’m sure Norwegians can go get a typewritermobile in Germany if they need one :)”

The Takeaway

Volkswagen is making an aggressive move in the Norwegian market. How long before other car companies follow suit? Fossil fuel apologists are wringing their hands about internal combustion bans, but market forces may see the end of conventional cars before those bans ever kick in … hopefully.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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