VW’s Electric Microbus
Of all the up-and-coming electric vehicles being planned for the near future, Volkswagen’s eclectic electric Microbus has to be the most iconic. It has become as eagerly anticipated as the soon-to-be released all-electric Ford F-150 and the Rivian R1T. One look at this boxy marvel conjures up vibes of the flower power days of the 1960’s married to the latest EV technology. Expect to see the new Microbus in U.S. showrooms in 2023.
Based on the VW ID.Buzz concept vehicle that was first debuted in 2017, VW will roll this retro love wagon out in Germany first next year. The passenger van will be built at VW’s commercial vehicle factory in Hanover, Germany, right alongside the company’s new electric cargo van. Features are reported to include a solar roof that hopes to add 9.3 miles of driving according to VW.
Pricing, Range, Charging and More
The new all-electric Microbus will offer a driving range of approximately 340 miles. That should be more than enough for weekend outings to psychedelic music festivals. And before we go any further, yes, the new bus will come in a variety of far-out pastel colors to go with the nostalgic aesthetic and will allow for flexible seating configurations in the cabin. Beanbag chairs not included.
VW has not released details on the Microbus as far as what trim levels will be offered but industry insiders predict that the base model will likely sell in the $40,000 range. The passenger van all-wheel-drive version will utilize electric motors on the front and rear axles for a combined 359 horsepower and a projected zero to 60 mph time of under five seconds. The ID.Buzz Cargo version will come with a standard 201 horsepower motor at the rear axle though a four-wheel-drive version may also be available.
As far as electric batteries are concerned, a base 48 kWh capacity battery is planned with a 200-mile range. An optional 110 kWh upgrade will take you 340 miles on a charge. DC Fast Charge times are predicted to give you an 80% charge in half an hour.
Inside the new magic bus, three rows of seating will allow for all kinds of configurations including turning seats into beds. All of the seats will spin around, lay down, or even let you drop them into the floor completely to offer you and your family maximum flexibility. The movable center console slides forward or backward on a track and contains a table for camping fun. There may even be a fold-away steering wheel. A center touchscreen will provide access to all the latest Car-Net infotainment software as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, WiFi hotspots and a number of charging ports throughout the cabin. Likewise, you’ll find an incredible array of driver assist features that may come very close to autonomous driving.
Dedicated to an all-electric vehicle future, Volkswagen is currently building the ID.3 hatchback and the ID.4 crossover, based on its MEB platform at a separate factory in Zwickau, Germany. Because the ID.Buzz is also built on VW’s MEB platform, keeping the batteries and motors beneath you, there’s even a trunk for storage.
By the way, the ID moniker for all of these vehicles stands for Intelligent Design and the MEB platform refers to Modularer E-antriebs-Baukasten; that’s German for modular electric-drive toolkit. This involves using a chassis built on batteries and electric motors that can be used with multiple vehicle bodies to create many different models.
VW intends to sell 22 million EVs a year worldwide by 2029. Watch for all the latest Volkswagen electric vehicles here on the GreenCars Marketplace powered by Driveway.