Volkswagen has announced that it will produce an electric version of its Microbus, the iconic, bug-eyed "hippie bus" most often associated with free-wheeling road trips to Woodstock.
The new model is a production version of Volkswagen's concept vehicle I.D. Buzz, which was revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. It is expected to be available in 2022 in the U.S., Europe and China.
“For me, the I.D. Buzz concept is the most beautiful and most exciting electric car in the world,” Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand said in the statement. “Our goal is clear: we want to make the fully electric, fully connected car a bestseller around the world. The iconic car of the electric age must be a Volkswagen.”
Volkswagen's original Type 1 Microbus debuted in 1950 and had just 30 horsepower. The new version derives its 369 horsepower from electric motors on each axle. According to Volkswagen, a fast-charge battery system will enable it to restore about 80% of its energy capacity in 30 minutes at 150 kW. “The I.D. Buzz stands for the new Volkswagen,” Diess said in the press release.
Volkswagen is in the midst of a damaging emissions cheating scandal that has cost the German automaker some $25 billion to date. This weekend's announcement comes just days after federal prosecutors recommended a three-year prison sentence for a key engineer involved in the 2015 controversy.