Volkswagen's long-awaited Microbus-styled minivan will see production as an electric vehicle, Auto Express reported. The electric Microbus, previewed in concept form as the I.D. BUZZ concept at the Detroit auto show earlier this year, has been approved by VW amid a push to market a wide range of EVs under the I.D. electric car subbrand.
"Emotional cars are very important for the brand," VW brand chief Herbert Diess told Auto Express. "We are selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in U.S. markets. But we will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build."
The production version will use the new MEB platform; the concept version featured an electric motor at each axle producing a combined 369 hp. The I.D. BUZZ concept's range was claimed to be 599 km (372 miles) in the European cycle (around 270 EPA-cycle miles) -- a figure that will likely see some revision by the time the production model debuts -- drawing juice from an 111-kWh battery.
At the time, VW quoted an 80 percent recharge time of just 30 minutes, which should make the production version both anxiety-free and quick to recharge if the specs hold. The design of the MEB platform, which will underpin the early I.D. cars, will allow for a substantial jump in interior space; the designs have neither an engine compartment nor a gas tank, and the battery will be located under the floor.