VW's Electric Bus Will Reach America in 2 Years' Time

We now have a confirmed launch timeline for one of Volkswagen's most anticipated new vehicles.

vw id buzz concept
Ingo Barenschee

By now, you're likely aware that Volkswagen is converting its entire lineup to electric powertrains and leaving gasoline behind. But the brand isn't about to abandon its heritage while doing so. The ID.3 hatchback — which isn't coming to America for now, at least — is basically an electric Golf; there's no word yet on an e-Beetle or an Electric Thing, but ithey seem like layups for VW at some point.

One vehicle we know we are getting in America, however: the ID. Buzz minivan, an electric take on the classic VW Bus. And now, we know when it will arrive.

Speaking with VW commercial division head Carsten Intra, Car and Driver confirmed that Volkswagen will bring the production ID. Buzz to the U.S. in 2023 as a 2024 model year vehicle following its 2022 debut in Europe.

That won't be the only difference between Buzzes, though. The ID. Buzz will be more utilitarian across the Pond; Europeans will see both commercial and passenger versions and both short and long-wheelbase vans. (The ID. Buzz will also spearhead Volkswagen's push into autonomous driving.) Americans will only get the long-wheelbase passenger version.

Powertrain-wise, Car and Driver expects the ID. Buzz to follow the track of the ID. 4 crossover, which runs on the same MEB platform. That would mean 200-ish-horsepower rear-wheel-drive and 300-ish-hp all-wheel-drive versions.

We could see the ID. Buzz being a major hit for Volkswagen for more than just nostalgia reasons. The secret to the initial VW Bus's success was its space efficiency; the Bus could fit eight-ish people and a substantial amount of cargo into a footprint similar to the current Jetta. Current EVs tend to be small and not very practical for families on the cargo front; the ID.4, which offers analogous space to a standard compact crossover, is an outlier. An electric van that could push the cab out to the front, as the ID. Buzz seems to do, would likely be far more accommodating than an equivalent gas-powered van of the same size.

Of course, modern safety standards and EV aerodynamic requirements will likely prevent the Buzz from being as space-efficient as its counter-culture-approved predecessor. But if the ID. Buzz can deliver space on par with a decent-sized family crossover, stylish looks, and a pricepoint more attainable than plunking down for a Rivian R1S, there should be a lot of interest.

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