Uniting past and future: VW to create electric version of the iconic Microbus

German car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) announced on Saturday (19 August) that an electric version of the Microbus model will go on sale in five years' time, more than 70 years since the design was first introduced.

The new version of the Microbus, or Bulli as it is known in certain areas, was originally displayed at autoshows in January this year. Following positive response from consumers, VW has set a date for the electric van, called the ID Buzz, for 2022.

VW will target North America, Europe and China and will create a cargo version of the van, which will also be fitted with batteries.

“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'”, VW’s chief executive Herbert Diess said.

“The vehicle is an important pillar in Volkswagen’s electric drive initiative and carries the Microbus driving feeling into the future.”

The production version will keep to its heritage in terms of appearance and size and will incorporate many of the design ideas from the showcased concept car from earlier this year.

Sparking the change

Almost two years on from the dieselgate scandal, VW is embarking on a new strategy to introduce more than 30 all-electric vehicles (EVs) into its portfolio by 2025.

While thousands of British motorists have launched a lawsuit against VW over the incident, VW is focusing on rebranding. Last year, the firm issued a €20m fund to finance projects related to lowering carbon emissions and meeting emissions regulations post-2025.

The company’s recently established Sustainability Council will benefit from the fund to catalyse the company’s “transformation from car manufacturer to mobility services provider.”

It’s been a big few days for the EV market. South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai unveiled plans to strengthen its grip on the market with a new model that can go 500km on a single charge, while the number of UK organisations pledging to purchase EVs passed the 100-member threshold.

Matt Mace

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