There’s the ID Buzz people carrier and ID Buzz Cargo van, but both do more than transport people and goods – they will also power your appliances and help you drive
It wouldn’t be remiss to call the ID Buzz a reincarnation of the Volkswagen T1, the ubiquitous “hippie van” of the 60s and 70s. But despite its outer resemblance to that mid-century icon, inside, it’s all 21st-century tech.
Run on the same platform as Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric hatchback, the ID Buzz has a 150kW, 201bhp electric motor, a 77kWh onboard battery, and an expected range of 400 kilometres (the official figure for the range is not out yet). The motor isn’t the only thing car-like about the it. The drag coefficients, at 0.285 for the people carrier and 0.29 for the Cargo, are also comparable to a much smaller vehicle. This means precious power savings for the battery and slightly longer intervals between charges.
Speaking of charge, the 170kW charging means that the battery could go from five to 80 per cent in 30 minutes once plugged in. What’s more, it’s bi-directional charging – not only can the ID Buzz be charged, it can also pass that charge to other things. Laptops come to mind; household appliances are a little more ambitious. You may even charge the vehicle when electricity prices are lower, then take your home off the grid and use the ID Buzz to power your home at a pinch. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination.
Inside, the ID Buzz has 1,121 litres of capacity, which is enough for five people and their luggage. Folding down the back seats increases the capacity to 2,205 litres. In the Cargo, the storage space is 3.9 cubic metres. The generous interior volume is a result of the ID Buzz being a longer vehicle, with a wheelbase measuring approximately 4.7 metres. Despite that, its turning radius is only slightly more than 11 metres, which is comparable to the Golf.
Somewhat in keeping with the hippie leanings of its doppelganger, the T1, the ID Buzz comes with seats upholstered in what Volkswagen vaguely describes as “non-animal” material instead of leather. Ambient light that can be set to 30 different colours ensures that its party bus aspiration is fulfilled.
Then, there are the bells and whistles. There’s a choice between two or three seats up front, and an infotainment system in the middle of the dashboard with a touchscreen that can go up to 12 inches. The driver’s display measures 5.30 inches and most switches and buttons are haptic. As for the features that truly matter to the 21st-century driver, the Cargo has five USB ports, while the people carrier boasts eight; both models have Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Opt for the highest specification to benefit from more than 30 assist systems. The memory function, for example, allows the vehicle to remember the manoeuvres you made to get your car in and out of tricky spots so that the next time you are at the same spot, it can take over the driving for you.