A staple of coastal California’s towns, the Volkswagen Microbus will be reincarnated as an electric vehicle. VW announced that it will build a version of its I.D. Buzz concept bus, which it hopes to begin selling by 2022. Unveiled earlier this year the Detroit Auto Show, the vehicle is a clear homage to the iconic vehicle that the company sold in North America between 1950 and 1980. The production version of the concept is expected to deviate little from the blunt-faced original, because all of the batteries will be mounted under the floor. Think of a longer, more van-like Chevrolet Bolt and you can get an idea of what the electric VW might be like to drive. Which means the production I.D. Buzz (VW didn’t announce what it will name the vehicle) should appeal to buyers who are interested in a lot of passenger space, as well as those who get nostalgic for the original, rear-engined, gasoline-powered Microbuses.
Like the original bus, the I.D. Buzz will also be offered as a cargo van, VW says, aimed at a commercial market in various cities where emissions regulations are making internal combustion engined vehicles more expensive to operate. The I.D. Buzz version will come after a more conventional all-electric VW under the I.D. label, the company says. This new bus is expected to take advantage of the electrification and autonomous driving capabilities being introduced under that label. VW may have lost confidence from consumers after the diesel emission scandal , the autonomous and electric reincarnation of the iconic Microbus may be the best thing to smooth over some of that skepticism.