Volkswagen Australia has arranged for a tussle between an ID.Buzz People Mover and an ID.Buzz Cargo to assess suitability for the Australian market.
Following the ID.Buzz’s global debut in March 2022, both vehicles were featured at VW Australia’s end-of-year event where Wheels was about to spin, touch, poke, feel and rebirth the Kombi. I was given the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. In the electronic age
Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm had been looking to secure the vehicles for some time, initially planning to buy a pair from the UK before the head office in Hanover offered to evaluate the vehicles. .
Executives told Wheels that, while there is nothing currently prohibiting VW from rolling out the ID.Buzz range locally as early as 2024, final approval is yet to be received from head office.
However, the pair is expected to bring the ID.4 and ID.5 mid-size SUVs to the market, and is likely to follow the local launch of the ID.3 electric small car.
ID.Buzz will hit Oz in loaded clips.
Two vehicles on show included a Pro Grade People Mover and the ID.Buzz Cargo Commerco Pro. Both are effectively top-spec models, reflecting Australia’s high-end trims.
“The vehicles at the show are really specced so that we can look at every offering in that particular car and make an informed decision going forward instead of bringing in a low-spec car and saying, ‘I wonder if this What happened?’, said Nathan Johnson, head of marketing and products, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Inside the Bayleaf Green is two-tone ID.buzz Pro with color-matched Bayleaf Green cloth upholstery with white leather accents, a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, an ID digital driving display and matrix LED headlights.
More clever features inside include a removable ‘buzz box’ center console with pull-out drawer, bottle opener and ice scraper.
Final details for Australia will be locked down closer to its expected launch in 2024, but expect our cars to feature similarly high-end equipment.
As for the cargo, it gets more practical black cloth upholstery with a black steering wheel, but the same infotainment system and digital cockpit. Cargo is rated to carry 6509kg of payload, with space in the back for a pair of Euro pallets.
Volkswagen ID buzz power and driving range
The ID.Buzz range is underpinned by Volkswagen’s dedicated MED electric platform, which differs from the modified LDV eT60s and Mercedes-Benz EQV electric vans currently on sale in Australia.
This means a 77kWh battery pack with a driving range of 423km (WLTP) for the People Mover and 425km (WLTP) for the Cargo. Driving range with a full payload is likely to be short for ID.Buzz Cargo owners, but Volkswagen said it was happy with what was achieved.
“The average person who is going to buy an ID Buzz will be traveling 20-30Ks a day. And probably charging at home. For more commercial purpose cars it is not common for people to do 300-400Ks a day. So we see a lot of that,” said Ryan Davies, director of VW commercial vehicles.
Fast charging is limited to 170kW (DC) for a 5-80% charge time of around 30 minutes. AC home charging, meanwhile, maxes out at 11kW.
Outputs are reasonable, and on par with the Volkswagen ID.4, with 150kW of power and 310Nm of torque via a rear motor.
VW Australia notes that Australian demand for the AWD model is keen to be strong, and more ID.Buzz variants with bigger batteries, longer wheelbases and more power are on the way – including GTX variants.
The ID.Buzz’s vehicle-loading capability is currently limited to a 300W three-pin socket, however Nathan Johnson said demand for a higher on-board output for the Australian market is being assessed.
ID.Buzz Pricing and Availability
As an Australian release has yet to be confirmed, and is likely more than 12 months away, VW was reluctant to discuss pricing, but the ID.Buzz is unlikely to come cheap.
Looking at UK prices, an equivalent pro people mover would cost around A$115,000 at the direct conversion rate. Not ridiculous next to the LDV Mifa 9, but definitely faster than the Kia Carnival.
The final price is likely to be under $100K, which is more than the UK typically pays for vehicles, but don’t expect a cheap chip van.
Release times will be confirmed in the future, but 2024 is cited as a ballpark estimate for Australia.