If you're like me, you have a soft spot for vintage Volkswagen vans. They're iconic, quirky, and full of character. They're also slow, unreliable, and prone to rust. But what if you could have the best of both worlds: a retro-styled van with a modern electric powertrain and features? That's the promise of the ID. Buzz Cargo, Volkswagen's electric van concept that just won the Van of the Year 2023 award in Denmark.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is based on the ID. Buzz, a passenger version of the electric van that is slated to go on sale in 2023 as well. Both are inspired by the classic VW Type 2, also known as the Microbus or Kombi, that was produced from 1950 to 1979. The ID. Buzz Cargo is designed to be a versatile and spacious vehicle for commercial use, with a range of up to 550 km (342 miles) on a single charge and a fast-charging capability that can add 80% of battery capacity in just 15 minutes.
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo also features a host of innovative technologies, such as a digital cockpit that can be controlled by voice and gesture commands, a head-up display that projects navigation and other information onto the windshield, and an autonomous driving mode that allows the driver to relax or work while the electric van drives itself. The cargo area can be customized with different modules and shelves and even has a built-in solar roof that can generate extra electricity for the battery.
The ID. Buzz Cargo is not just a concept, though. Volkswagen says it plans to launch the electric van in Europe in 2024, followed by North America and China in 2025. The company hopes to tap into the growing market for commercial electric vehicles, especially in urban areas where emissions regulations are becoming stricter and delivery services are in high demand.
But don't expect the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo to be cheap. Volkswagen has not revealed the price of the electric van yet, but it is likely to be higher than its conventional rivals, such as the Ford E-Transit Courier or the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. The ID. Buzz Cargo will also face competition from other electric vans, such as the Rivian R1T or the Tesla Cybertruck, which are expected to hit the market around the same time.
Still, if you're looking for a cool and practical electric vehicle that can haul your stuff and turn heads at the same time, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo might be worth waiting for. It's a rare example of a concept car that actually lives up to its name: it's an IDea that makes you go "Buzz".