Volkswagen Australia pushing for electric Kombi

Volkswagen Australia wants a retro-futuristic electric flagship, but getting it Down Under could a challenge.

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Scott Collie
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It hasn’t been revealed yet, but the retro-futuristic ID Buzz electric van is high on the wish list for Volkswagen Australia.

Volkswagen Commercial says the production ID Buzz, an all-electric take on the iconic Kombi van, has already captured the attention of its customers.

“Everybody in the business would love the ID Buzz,” said Nick Reid, Volkswagen Group Australia national marketing and product manager.

“To have the ID Buzz… would be very unique, but such a brand statement as well,” he said.

“We get so many calls from customers and celebrities, ‘can I have the first one?’, all that kind of stuff. That’s really exciting.”

Volkswagen’s struggles getting electric passenger cars and SUVs to Australia extend to its commercial division.

VW Australia has previously said it will be 2023 or 2024 before we see the ID.4 SUV and ID.3 hatchback locally, as head office sends cars to markets where they can cut fleet emissions and help the brand avoid huge fines.

That problem extends to Volkswagen Commercial world, which is working in “exactly the same timeline”.

“We’re in exactly the same spot as passenger vehicles,” said Mr Reid.

“At the end of the day, the platforms are all the same. The things driving demand in other countries are also going to pull through into the commercial segment, so we’re in exactly the same position.

“We’re fighting as hard as we can, and obviously lobbying at the same time. It’s good to see some common sense coming into the market, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” Mr Reid said.

Potentially badged ID.7, the reborn Kombi people mover is expected to have powered sliding rear doors and a seven-seat interior.

Volkswagen also reportedly plans a commercial version, with both variants to be produced alongside an electric version of the seventh-generation Transporter at the company’s plant in Hanover, Germany.

A long-wheelbase version of the ID.7 will also be available though even the regular-length model will be a substantial 4962mm long, or 122mm longer than a Honda Odyssey.

The ID.7 will also measure 1985mm wide, or 10mm narrower than a Kia Carnival. It’ll also be 121mm taller than the Kia at 1896mm tall.

In addition to offering both regular- and long-wheelbase ID.7 models, Volkswagen is also expected to offer a choice of rear- and all-wheel drive.

The standard battery will have an output of 82kWh, though the van’s bluff front will take a toll on aerodynamics and, in turn, its electric range.

Volkswagen plans to offer a range of colour and trim combinations as well as some cute touches, like smiling emojis in the interior door handles and an ice scraper and bottle opener in the centre console bin.

The ID. Buzz concept was first revealed at the 2017 North American motor show and then at that year’s Geneva show, wearing styling “designed to recall the original Type 2 Microbus without mimicking it”.


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