VW's production electric Microbus finally sets its big reveal date

Volkswagen's hotly-anticipated ID. Buzz microbus EV will make its public debut on March 9, 2022, the automaker has confirmed today. One of the earliest concepts VW used to demonstrate the flexibility of the MEB platform for all-electric vehicles, the ID. Buzz brought the 60s favorite into the 21st century with a zero-emissions drivetrain.

It's not unfair to call the original Microbus – also known as the VW Transporter, Kombi, Type 2, or Camper, depending on era and country – a modern day icon. Launched first in the 1950s, the van became a fan-favorite in the 1960s for its attainable pricing, flexible cabin, and charming styling.

Unsurprisingly, that made it rich pickings for an electric reboot. Shown off first in early 2017, the ID. Buzz concept showed just what the MEB – or Modular Electric Drive Kit – could be capable of, beyond urban hatchbacks, crossovers, and SUVs. Outfitted with two electric motors for all-wheel drive, and a sizable cabin with a modular, multi-configuration layout suitable for everything from surfboards to camping trips, it met with pretty much universal acclaim.

VW only waited a few months before confirming it had production plans for the vehicle, though the anticipated unveil has been pushed back a few times. MEB arrived on the market first in the shape of the ID.3, an altogether more familiar compact hatchback sold in Europe, and then in the US underpinning the ID.4, a compact crossover. A larger SUV is also in the pipeline.

Today, though, Herbert Diess – CEO of Volkswagen Group – confirmed when we can expect to see the production ID. Buzz unveiled. That'll take place on March 9, 2022, the chief exec took to Twitter to announce.

VW had previously said that it would be 2022 before the production electric Microbus was announced. That, however, will be for the European market only, the automaker later confirmed. US availability isn't earmarked until sometime in 2023.

There'll also be fewer options for American drivers, it seems. In Europe, there'll be multiple configurations of the Microbus EV, including both passenger and commercial versions. Short and long wheelbase models will be offered, and there'll even be a solar roof option for adding to the battery's charge with some free energy from the sun.

The US, meanwhile, will get just one core model, a passenger ID. Buzz, it was said at the time. That will use the long wheelbase platform, and come in three variations. A base model will have rear-wheel drive and around 200 horsepower, it was suggested, while the flagship US-spec ID. Buzz would get all-wheel drive and as much as 300 horsepower.

One big question VW is yet to answer is just how much range it expects from the new EV. When it first revealed the concept bus, it suggested anything from 200-270 miles was possible, based on the US' EPA test cycle. There'd be 83 kWh and 111 kWh batteries, VW said at the time, supporting up to 150 kW DC fast charging for a 0-80% top-up in about 30 minutes with a compatible charger.

Whether that still holds true for the production model remains to be seen. Certainly, while this probably won't be the biggest seller among MEB-based vehicles, it'll undoubtedly be one of the most eye-catching and give VW the halo car for its electric push that it arguably still lacks. We'll know more, finally, early in March.