Volkswagen Australia says there’s already high demand for its electric vans here – including the retro-cool ID. Buzz people-mover and ID. Buzz Cargo work spinoff – but don’t expect to see them until late 2024 at the earliest.
Volkswagen Commercial vehicles announced this week it had started taking orders on the ID. Buzz MPV and cargo vans in Germany, with the rest of Europe to follow shortly.
But Australia, despite demand from customers and fleets looking to burnish their green credentials, appears some way down the global pecking order – not helped by our lack of binding CO2 targets, a key determiner of supply, according to VW.
“We’re constantly talking to not only local government, but fleet customers about what our future looks like for electric vehicles, because it’s in high demand, they want to move that way sooner [rather] than later,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia brand director Ryan Davies told CarExpert this week.
“ID. Cargo is firmly on our radar as well as ID. Buzz, [but] probably the earliest we could anticipate selling it is late 2024.
“We have big aspirations in terms of volume for that car, so we are confident that we’re going to get it. With what we have put on the table, with what we can achieve here from a volume perspective, we think the factory would be pretty happy with that appetite.”
The MEB-based ID. Buzz and Cargo use a 82kWh battery and a 150kW/310Nm rear drive motor, with claimed range of up to 423km (WLTP), and DC charging of up to 170kW accommodated.
Volkswagen globally has focused on selling its ID EV range (ID.3 hatch; the ID.4, ID.5 and ID.6 crossovers; and now the ID. Buzz and Cargo range) in Europe, China and North America first, where demand and incentives – both carrot and stick – are greater.
The delayed launch of the ID vans despite demand is a similar story to the ID.4 and ID.5 range sold by the Volkswagen Passenger arm, which are not on track for Australia until 2023 at the earliest.
The Volkswagen ID.Buzz and ID.Buzz Cargo are pitched as spiritual successors to the beloved Kombi, which remains an icon here. There’s also a burgeoning market for converting old ones to EV.
Over the next few years the EV van space in Australia will grow at a relative rate of knots, with entrants to include the second-generation Renault Kangoo EV, Ford E-Transit (2022) and E-Transit Custom (2024), and the Mercedes-Benz eVito and EQV (2022) and eSprinter (2024).