VW answers the question, will there be commercial Buzz? Yes, of course
Honestly, the move makes sense, when you think about it. What move is that? Volkswagen, which began the year by dropping big hints that it would produce an electric version of the iconic Microbus and which finally confirmed it, has now announced that there will be a commercial version. VW's Hippie-Dippy van to get commercial.
The new Microbus is part of VW’s I.D. electrical vehicle family. The family includes the I.D. Crozz, a crossover, the I.D., a hatchback, and, the I.D. Buzz, the official name of the Microbus. It goes into production in 2020. Most of the news about the Buzz, so far, has been about its remarkable resemblance to the Microbus, that famed VW icon of the 1960s. There have been nostalgic pieces galore regarding the Microbus and what it meant to millions of Baby Boomers whose ideas of freedom included a Microbus, bedroll, and air mattress.
An early professional grade van
As one of the first professional grade van designs available at reasonable cost, the Microbus was far more crucial for other reasons than the freedom it delivered. Microbus-based vans provided the backbone of short-haul city delivery vehicles until quite late in the 1970s. They were also chopped and converted into light-duty pickups. The Microbus was a key vehicle for VW. The Buzz is likely to become equally as important, if not more so.
It is true that the first version of the Buzz/Microbus is slated to be an electric people-hauler (many are anxiously looking forward to getting behind the wheel). That, however, is a self-limiting market; there are only so many people with the money or need for a Microbus-based hauler. On the other hand, if you have a business and need an electric hauler, the Buzz has lots of potential. Let’s face it; nothing is going to stop the electrification of the world’s vehicle fleet. The climate needs it; clean air needs it, and technology needs it. And, given the need for delivery and other commercial vehicles, the commercial Buzz makes a whole lot of sense.
It makes sense, then, to take an icon of an era – it has almost instant recognizability – and make it into a commercial vehicle. It should have lots of success. Well, that is the plan for the I.D. Buzz, according to Dr. Eckhard Scholz, chief exec of VW’s Commercial Vehicles Division.
Scholz recently confirmed that the automaker plans to begin building a cargo-version of the all-electric Buzz/Microbus. It is slated to hit the assembly line and go into production in about five years.
Planned production is exciting news
The news of the planned production start is exciting because the automaker has had a very on-off relationship with the effort to bring the Microbus back to the roads. Since the last Microbus rolled off the assembly line, there has been a very vocal bunch of supporters who have wanted to see the van brought back.
And, while there were rumors and reports that the Microbus was scheduled to rejoin the ranks of VW’s offerings they were just rumors and reports, nothing else. Now that Dr. Scholz has weighed in and provided a concrete date, those who have been waiting need not wait much longer as the Microbus (aka Buzz) will be back, relatively soon, unless …