• Based on VW’s new EV platform
  • Range between 200 and 340 miles
  • Driven by a 201-horsepower electric motor

 

At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen rolled out the I.D. Buzz concept, a fully electric modern interpretation of its classic Microbus. It was a hit on the auto show circuit, so VW is moving forward with plans to put it into production for 2022. Hot on its heels comes the I.D. Buzz Cargo, intended for commercial use.

Like its passenger sibling, the I.D. Buzz Cargo is based on what Volkswagen calls the Modular Electric Drive Kit. What this means is that the powertrain and battery size can be customized based on how the van will be used, offering a range between 200 and 340 miles.

Sliding door on one side only

While it bears a strong resemblance to the passenger van, the I.D. Buzz Cargo differs in some significant ways. Befitting its use carrying cargo, the van has wide-opening rear wing doors, a new bumper, and a sliding door on one side only to optimize interior space for shelving. It also includes a roof-mounted solar module, which extends the van’s range by more than 9 miles. Instead of having two front seats, the Cargo has a driver seat and a double-seat passenger side bench seat. The left half of the bench can be folded down into a workspace and includes an integrated laptop.

VW worked with German company Sortimo to design a new cargo area with a shelving system that includes sensors connected to a function control unit. The data is transferred via WLAN to tablets in the cargo space and cockpit. The control unit can be integrated with a company’s cargo management system to track and monitor the items on the shelves. Other features include a 230-volt socket to power tools.

Autonomous Driving Features

VW has adapted autonomous driving features into the I.D. Buzz Cargo. When the driver activates Level 4 autonomous mode, the steering wheel retracts into the instrument panel, allowing the seat to turn to the right so the driver can work on the laptop. Other features include a 3D Augmented Reality head-up display that positions information directly in the driver’s line of sight. Instead of mirrors, the van has cameras that project rearview images onto screens in the cab.

Power comes from a 48 kWh battery integrated into the floor of the van. For greater range, it can be increased to 111 kWh. The axles have been shifted outward, creating more floor space, and the 201-horsepower 150 kw electric motor and single-speed transmission are mounted on the multilink rear axle. Top speed is limited to 99 mph. VW also offers an all-wheel drive version of the Cargo. The I.D. Buzz Cargo’s 48 kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes using a fast charging system operating at 150 kW direct current; the 111 kWh battery takes 30 minutes.

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