Published on January 18th, 2021 |
by Steve Hanley
January 18th, 2021 by Steve Hanley
Writing this story makes me sad. I started writing about the battery electric successor to the iconic VW Microbus long before I began writing for CleanTechnica, back when I was a lowly (and severely underpaid) scribe for the now defunct Gas2.org. At that time, it was known as the BUDD e. Later it became known as the Bulli but is now known as the ID. Buzz. Even that moniker may one day transition to some mundane moniker like ID. 7 just as the ID. Crozz became the ID.4. The BUDDe and Bulli were rather different vehicles — proof, if any was needed, that Volkswagen has had a rather schizophrenic approach to building an electric Minibus, a conflict that has slowed the development process considerably.
In any event, the idea of an electric minivan that would be the spiritual successor to the VW Microbus — the ultimate symbol of automotive cool and official vehicle of the Woodstock Generation — is one that has great emotional power. In recent stories, CleanTechnica has detailed how Volkswagen is starting to reconfigure its Hannover factory to produce the ID. Buzz and is adding an assembly line at its factory in Chattanooga to manufacture the ID.4 and the ID. Buzz.
Recent rumors suggested the ID. Buzz would be available to consumers in early 2022. And while that may be true, according to a report by Car and Driver, Scott Keogh, head of Volkswagen of America, told Automotive News last week, “I wish it was coming next year. It’s not going to come quite as soon as that. It’s going to be a little bit later than that.” A little bit later apparently means sometime in 2023 and that’s for cars built in Germany. When VOA is going to get production going in Tennessee is anyone’s guess.
This is all a bit of a mystery to people like myself. Tesla goes from breaking ground on a new factory to rolling new cars out the door in 11 months. The ID. Buzz was first teased in 2017 but its roots go back to 2012 and the beginning of the current EV revolution. So it is going to take Volkswagen 6 years to get the car into American showrooms after what will amount to an 11 year gestation period. Unbelievable.
This for a car the public is clamoring for! Several of our readers say they would buy one today if they could. (Add my name to that list.) Keogh says he is inundated with inquiries from VW dealers and others wanting to know when the ID. Buzz will be available. “The reaction has been huge, and we just got to get it here,” he says.
So let’s get this straight. The demand is there but somehow Herbert Diess and company need 6 years to give customers what they? They won’t bring the ID.3 to the US because it’s a scientific fact Americans won’t buy a sedan — unless it’s a Tesla, of course. And they won’t give Americans the ID. Buzz no matter how great the demand? It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.
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