Volkswagen's Iconic 'Hippy Bus' Is Making an All-Electric Comeback

The I.D. BUZZ | © Volkswagen
Photo of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor19 July 2018

Volkswagen’s iconic camper van is driving into the 21st century with the I.D. BUZZ, an all-electric vehicle mixing vintage design with futuristic tech.

The VW Transporter camper van, lovingly known as the hippy bus, captured the imagination of generations around the world. Synonymous with road trips along the California coast, the carefree traveling icon is now getting a 21st-century makeover with the all-electric I.D. BUZZ.

I.D. BUZZ | © Volkswagen

Slated for launch in 2022, the BUZZ’s two-tone, one-box design pays homage to the iconic VW camper van, first launched in 1950.

“The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle,” said Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess. “Now, we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle. Where a generation that lived through the swinging sixties and enjoyed the experimental seventies discovered a tool for exploration and freedom in the camper van of yesteryear, today’s potential buyer is looking to stay anchored to the digital world, despite their geographical location.”

As a result, the fully electric vehicle will be constantly connected to the cloud.

Twin electric motors will produce zero emissions without compromising on speed – according to the company, the BUZZ will do 0-62mph in around five seconds.

An interactive display panel in the vehicle’s range will include an augmented reality (AR) display capable of projecting information, such as the directions given by the GPS system, as a virtual image from seven to 15 metres ahead of the car.

A rear back bench, two removable middle seats, and a driver and passenger seat provide ample space for six, and the interior can be changed and augmented depending on need. To turn the cabin into a living room-style space, the front and passenger seats can be swiveled to face the back, and all the passenger seats can be modified depending on need. Batteries are mounted in the floor in order to maximise space in the vehicle.

As well as being environmentally friendly, the camper van will push the concept of autonomous driving, with plans in place to create self-driving functionality with the touch of a button.

The design features seating that can changed according to need | © Volkswagen

Inspired by life on the road? Read Culture Trip’s feature on the resurgence of van life.

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