Unveiled earlier this year in Europe, Volkswagen’s I.D. Buzz Cargo electric panel van study heads over to LA for its North American debut. According to the automaker, a production version of the van (sans those sweet decals), could launch by 2022
The cute concept gains a new livery in the process as VW reimagines it as a support vehicle for the I.D. R electric race car that set a new Pikes Peak record this year. Based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), the I.D. Buzz Cargo is the commercial vehicle version of the I.D. Buzz concept that debuted at Detroit last year.
It can cover up to 340 miles on a single charge
As with its people-carrying counterpart, the electric panel van could enter production as early as 2022 in Europe. VW says the I.D. Buzz Cargo is capable of achieving ranges between 200 and 340 miles (322-547 km) on the WLTP cycle, depending on the size of the battery pack. That’s because the automaker envisions two battery packs for the all-electric van.
For covering “fairly normal distances” in the city on a daily and weekly basis, the entry-level 48 kWh lithium-ion battery should be enough. For customers needing greater range, VW could also offer a 111 kWh pack.
Either of the two batteries feeds electricity to a 201hp (150kW) electric motor mounted on the rear axle that drives the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. If the market will require an AWD version, all VW will have to do is add a motor on the front axle. As it is, the vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 99 mph (159 km/h).
Longer than the I.D. Buzz minivan, it has a payload of 1,760 pounds
Charging the bigger battery to 80 percent capacity takes 30 minutes with a 150 kW DC fast charger. VW says the battery is also compatible with inductive charging. Similar in size to the VW Transporter, the I.D. Buzz Cargo is 198.7-in (5,048-mm) long, 77.8-in (1,976-mm) wide and 77.3-in (1,963-mm) tall, with a wheelbase of 129.9 inches (3,300 mm).
Styling-wise, it looks just like the I.D. Buzz Concept except it has no rear lateral windows. Besides the smaller glazed area, another significant difference is the 4.2-in (106-mm) longer rear overhang. That translates into a substantial cargo compartment with a payload of 1,760 pounds (798 kg).
For the LA Auto Show, the vehicle is outfitted with a workbench and parts for the I.D. R in the intelligent shelving system.
*This story has been updated with live images from the LA show