The buzz on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz is that pre-orders have already topped 12,500, which has led the company to double its production goals. According to a report by Automobilwoche (pay wall), Volkswagen commercial vehicles chairman Carsten Intra says, “And this is without any of the customers seeing, touching, or even being able to drive the vehicle.”
The first demonstration models should be arriving at dealers in Europe soon, Intra says. The ID. Buzz is built at the Volkswagen commercial vehicles in Hannover, Germany, where about 100 a week are being assembled today. That number is expected to double by the end of this year. Eventually, the company is now planning to make 100,000 ID. Buzz vehicles a year, with 130,000 a year possible if the demand is there.
The ID. Buzz is offered in Europe as a short-wheelbase model with either 2-row seating for 5 people or as a cargo van for commercial users. So far, half of the pre-orders have been for the commercial version. In fact, at the IAA Transportation show for commercial vehicles this week in Hannover, Volkswagen showed off a version of the ID. Buzz that has been outfitted for service as an emergency vehicle by German upfitter Bösenberg, according to Green Car Reports.
The upfit possibilities for the ID. Buzz are virtually limitless and Volkswagen clearly wants to position it as a vehicle for contractors, tradespeople, first responders, delivery services, and the like.
The ID. Buzz is still 2 years away from being offered in the North American market, where it will have a longer wheelbase and three-row seating for 7 passengers as well as a commercial variant with more cargo space. According to ArsTechnica, there is a possibility Volkswagen could decide to build the ID. Buzz in North American, if there is sufficient demand, either at its new electric vehicle factory in Chattanooga or possibly at a second US factory if the company decides to go in that direction. “[In 2024] we’ll have to see how high the demand is there and whether we can increase the capacity again,” Intra said.
There appears to be some magic left in the aura that surrounds the memory of the iconic Volkswagen Microbus. Other manufacturers are offering electric vans but while they are long on utility, they are short on style. Just because you happen to be in business doesn’t mean you have to drive a boring vehicle.
The folks at The Driven took one for a test drive at the IAA Transportation show this week and report the ID. Buzz was a joy to drive — quiet, comfortable, agile, with a priority on ease of entry & exit for delivery drivers who are in and out of their vehicles all day long. One characteristic they liked was a tight turning radius that allows it to make a U-turn on a 2-lane road with ease.
As for the early interest in the ID. Buzz, they point out that many local authorities in Europe require a high sustainability component in their construction and transport tenders, which almost requires going electric. Manufacturers want their goods to be transported across the continent and during last-mile delivery to customers with zero emissions.
The focus at the show this year was on electric commercial vehicles. Even a major player like Volvo Trucks did not bring a single diesel-powered vehicle to this year’s show. My, how things have changed in the space of a few years.
Ford, Renault, and Daimler also had electric commercial vans on display at the show. Yet The Driven says, “there’s absolutely no doubt which big car company had the cutest and most likeable product.” Carsten Intra says people smile and wave when they see one. The Microbus magic is still alive and well, apparently.
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