Volkswagen to debut electric Microbus at SXSW
Herndon-based U.S. subsidiary's ID. Buzz has been in works for 5 years
Herndon-based Volkswagen Group of America announced Wednesday that it would debut its electric bus during this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, which will be held March 11-20 in Austin, Texas.
Designed to recall the iconic Type 2 Microbus introduced in 1967, the ID. Buzz is Volkswagen’s second noncommercial electric vehicle. The vehicle’s modern incarnation uses the company’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform. With a VW fast-charge system, the bus can recharge about 80% of its energy capacity in 30 minutes at 150 kilowatts.
“The VW Microbus has been emblematic of cultural ideals that have inspired change and driven progress, both in the U.S. and globally,” Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Scott Keogh said in a statement. “South by Southwest’s commitment to innovation and technology, coupled with its access to culture and creativity, makes it the perfect venue for the ID. Buzz to make its first-ever public appearance.”
The company will host “Buzz Stops” throughout the city, and the ID. Buzz appearances are part of a three-year sponsorship agreement between Volkswagen and SXSW.
Volkswagen first revealed the ID. Buzz concept in January 2017 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. In October 2017, the company announced it planned to sell the vehicle in the U.S., Europe and China in 2022. The ID. Buzz concept includes an autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could go into production by 2025.
Later this year, North American manufacturing for Volkswagen’s ID.4 EV line of electric SUVs will shift to Chattanooga, Tennessee.