Hippies everywhere rejoice, the Volkswagen Microbus concept car that debuted in Detroit at an auto show earlier this year is going into production. And it will be fully electric.
The German automaker made the exciting announcement on August 19. The word was that the I.D. Buzz, the name of the concept Microbus, was going to go into production. The press release stated that the announcement was made in California at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It was exciting news for the attendees at the collector car event.
According to Volkswagen, following the debut of the electric Microbus in both Detroit and Geneva, customers flooded them with emails and letters begging them to build the car. Dr. Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO, said the decision to make the announcement at the car event at Pebble Beach was because the original Microbus was a huge part of the California lifestyle. Bringing it back, as a reinvented electric vehicle just makes sense.
How much of the original concept vehicle that will make it into production is not known at this time. Typically, concept cars will be slightly modified to make it easier to manufacture. At this time, VW has released that the batteries will be mounted in the floor of the van, allowing for a spacious interior.
According to Hinrich J. Woebcken, the CEO of Volkswagen’s North American Region, the Microbus will have a perfect balance between usability, sustainability, and emotion, but also be a technological showcase. With a high seating capacity, room for lots of cargo, and versatility, combined with an option for an all-wheel drive package, Volkswagen believes it is exactly what customers want, and is the perfect fit for a zero-emission lifestyle.
The plan by the German company is to have the new Microbus in dealerships sometime in 2022. It will follow the debut of the I.D. four-door compact vehicle.
Consumers are excited about the new Microbus, but are holding off a bit until specifications are released. Range, performance, and comparability between other electric vehicles (EVs) could be the deal buster. Volkswagen home charging options, like the Tesla home charging units, would go along way, but overall, price will be the determining factor. If the Microbus comes in at an outrageous price, it could flop. Tesla has a high price point for the flagship Model S and Model X, but the Model 3 comes in at a more affordable price. Nissan’s Leaf is even more affordable, as was the all-electric version of the Prius. So, time will tell, and more details are expected prior to the launch in 2022.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Volkswagen