Do you remember the VW Bus? It is a car synonymous with the 60s, hippies, and really another era. For many people, this vehicle holds a lot of nostalgia. If you are one of those people, you are in luck: The VW Bus is making a sustainable comeback – only this time, it’s going electric.
VW Bus Making A Modern, More Sustainable Comeback
Volkswagen made quite the statement at the 2019 Detroit Autoshow. Their big splash, however, wasn’t some new, super fancy care. Rather, it was a reiteration of their classic VW Bus. You know the one: Perhaps you’ve seen it in movies or TV shows set in the 60s. If you’re lucky, you may have ridden or even owned one yourself. (1)
To say the VW Bus is iconic is an understatement. In fact, probably if you say Volkswagen to someone, the minibus is one of the first vehicles they think of. Only this time, Volkswagen engineers gave the bus a bit of a sustainable makeover. The latest version of this nostalgic vehicle is fully electric.
“For me, the I.D. Buzz concept is the most beautiful and most exciting electric car in the world,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand. “Our goal is clear: we want to make the fully electric, fully connected car a bestseller around the world. The iconic car of the electric age must be a Volkswagen.” (2)
Volkswagen Is An “Emotional Brand”
Many of the cars in Volkswagen’s lineup carry a hefty amount of nostalgia for their drivers. A great example of this is the VW bug. Who doesn’t remember playing the “punch buggy” game on a long road trip with their siblings? Perhaps you or your family even had one yourselves. Maybe you still do! People have an emotional connection with these vehicles, which is in large part why they are still so popular.
“Emotional cars are very important for the brand,” Diess said in 2019.“We are selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in US markets. But we will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build.”
The VW bus has had the same impact on many people.
“It took you everywhere with your friends, it was a car but also a home on wheels, it was both reliable and unconventional, it was highly emotional,” explained Diess.
A Car of the Past Becomes A Car of the Future
The VW Bus is a part of the German brand’s lineup of Modular Electric Drive (MEB) vehicles. This means that the bus’s batteries and electric motors are installed in the floors so there is more space inside for cargo and passengers. This also means that it can meet modern crash and safety standards while maintaining its flat face.
“These cars will offer everything – and even more – than you have seen from other electric carmakers,” says Diess. “And they will be much more affordable.”
Another key difference is the horsepower. The original version in 1950 had just 30hp. This new version has 169hp. It has LED lights and a battery that provides a range of approximately 300 miles. It also includes a fast-charge system that can regain 80% of its energy capacity in just 30 minutes.
The company says that they hope to begin selling in the American, European, and Asian markets in 2022, with a self-driving version to follow in 2025.
“The I.D. Buzz stands for the new Volkswagen,” says Diess. “We are fully committed to the future of mobility, and we want to reignite America’s love for VW.”