VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed that it will be putting its all-electric Microbus into production after the concept was well received by the public.
Making the announcement at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that the Microbus “unites past and future as well as Pebble Beach and the Silicon Valley”.
It is due to go on sale in 2022, and will come as the second vehicle in the compact I.D. range behind a compact hatchback.
Diess added: “After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car.’
“The Microbus, which is what the Bulli is called in America, has always been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by developing Volkswagen’s next e-generation and by reinventing the Bulli as an electric vehicle.”
Though Volkswagen hasn’t disclosed much about the layout of the van, it has said the batteries will be mounted in the vehicle floor – most likely for better weight distribution.
The electric motor’s compact size also means that the Microbus has short overhangs and a long wheelbase, maximising space inside.
Diess said: “The vehicle therefore looks like a short compact van on the outside, even as it offers the generous interior space of a large van.”
Volkswagen also said the I.D. Buzz will also be available with Level 3 autonomous capabilities, meaning that ‘safety critical’ features will be controlled by the van, though the driver is still able to pilot the vehicle should they want to.
However, they do not have to monitor the road ahead in the same way as with Level 1 or Level 2.