The adorable VW ID Buzz electric van will debut in March

A VW ID Buzz prototype equipped with Argo AI's autonomous driving hardware and software, on the streets of Munich, Germany.
Enlarge / A VW ID Buzz prototype equipped with Argo AI’s autonomous driving hardware and software, on the streets of Munich, Germany.
Argo AI

This week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess set a date for the launch of what might be the most eagerly anticipated of VW’s new battery electric vehicles. The retro-styled ID Buzz concept car blew so many socks off when we first saw it in 2017, and we’ll get our first proper look at the production version on March 9, according to Diess’ Twitter feed.

Intentionally or not, Volkswagen’s ID Buzz concept might be the most successful aspect of the company’s post-Dieselgate charm offensive. VW has had to pivot hard into electrification, applying its proven strategy of building many different styles of vehicles from the same family of parts and designs.

Most of those vehicles have been pretty conventional, like the ID.3 hatchbacks that are starting to get thick on the ground in Europe or the designed-with-the-US-in-mind ID.4 crossover. Then there are the less conventional concepts—try as they might, the engineers couldn’t make a business case for the ID Buggy.

But you can make a compelling case for an electric van. That should be welcome news to fans of the VW Type 2, some of whom may have been teased by previous concepts like the Microbus in 2001, Bulli in 2011, and BUDD-e in 2016, none of which made it past the auto show circuit.

Europeans will also be offered a commercial version of the electric van.
Enlarge / Europeans will also be offered a commercial version of the electric van.
Volkswagen

But the ID Buzz is definitely destined for production this year at VW’s commercial vehicle factory in Hannover, Germany. And if you venture to Munich or Hamburg, you may see autonomous Buzzes roaming the streets, gathering test data for Argo AI and Moia ahead of a commercial launch in the latter city in 2025.

US models will arrive in 2023. Since range is considered king in our market, we’re just getting the longer-wheelbase passenger version. European Buzz enthusiasts will have more variety, including a short-wheelbase (and therefore smaller battery capacity) version, as well as a commercial Buzz with panels instead of windows down the sides.



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