On the ID.Buzz

By Gary S. Vasilash

Volkswagen “officially” revealed the electric ID.Buzz van today. The vehicle looks much like the concept vehicle that was revealed at the Detroit Show in 2017, and it even has the same name. Car companies show concepts at shows in order to gauge the interest of potential consumers. Clearly the ID.Buzz scored big points.

Although its heritage goes back to the T1 van introduced in 1950 in Germany, for many Americans there is almost no need to squint so as to see the VW microbus that was (and is) beloved by a whole cadre of free-spirits, from surfers to people who long for the days chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

The phrase “No one likes minivans” will certainly go away when the ID.Buzz hits the road. (Image: VW)

The ID.Buzz (which also comes in a cargo variant: probably ideal for those who shape surfboards or do a lot of precision spray painting) will not arrive in the U.S. until 2024.

But between now and then there will undoubtedly be lots of—dare I say?—buzz about this new vehicle. There will be announcements galore about the interest being exhibited by consumers in a way that might even make Elon Musk feel moderately envious.

What’s interesting to note is how one of the things that traditional OEMs are doing to draw interest to their EVs is to borrow from their heritage.

There is the ID.Buzz. Ford’s first serious entrant into the New Era of EVs was the Mustang. GM is going with the HUMMER.

To be sure, VW has the ID.4 available right now in the U.S. market. It is doing reasonably well sales-wise.

But there is absolutely no question that the ID.Buzz is going to do unreasonably well—there will be a sell-out situation—and a large part of that probably has to do with the nostalgic feelings it will provoke in plenty of people.

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