Volkswagen finally launches ID. Sum!

There are a few electric vehicles that have been teased for so long that they have practically become jokes among EV enthusiasts. There is Tesla Semi and Tesla Roadster 2 (revealed more than 4 years ago). There’s Apple’s electric car (though it’s more a case of rumors than teasing). There are various others with lower profile. And then there is… Volkswagen ID. Sum. The Buzz takes the cake in this category.

This is an interesting situation for several reasons. First, the original Volkswagen hippie bus is one of the most iconic vehicles ever. Damn, I know many will quarrel with me, but I think it may well be most iconic vehicle model in history. Such a claim will always be controversial, but I know that many will also agree with me and that they have a special place for the bus in their hearts. The hippie bus / van is a key symbol or a huge era in human history, one that was much loved and often romanticized. (It was before my time, but I’m somehow nostalgic for this bus and the era itself – oddly enough.)

So without a doubt, a new, futuristic and electric version of the VW hippie bus should attract interest, and it did. But then Volkswagen pulled it out, pulled it out, pulled it out and pulled it out. Eventually, however, it looks like Volkswagen will launch the ID. Buzz on March 9th. This is suggested by Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.

As one commenter reminds us, here’s a Super Bowl commercial about Buzz from 2019:

The production version will not be as cool and futuristic as the concept car we have been staring at for years as we have seen the other ID models (ID.3 and ID.4) lose a bit of their futuristic look as they have reached the production the vehicle stage. I expect it will be the biggest failure for me to lose that cool, futuristic look. I just love these other worldviews of the yellow concept minibus / van. Here are more as a final reminder:

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus, with surfboard on top. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van and original hippie bus / van. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus – ideal for camping? Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. That steering wheel does not get into the production trolley / minibus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Oh yeah. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. The buzz concept electric van, also known as the hippie bus, included cameras for mirrors – highly unlikely in production version. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

upcoming electric motorhomes Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept electric van, also known as hippie bus. Picture lent by Volkswagen.

Although I do not expect the production ID. Buzz for being as cool as the concept ID. Buzz, I expect it to be an attractive, appealing, electric one all-vehicle.

Several years ago, I was talking to a Volkswagen boss about Buzz while I was at a conference. He told me that despite all the enthusiasm for the vehicle, they were really unsure how many people would actually buy Buzz. This is definitely part of the reason for the later launch. It’s not exactly a popular vehicle class these days. We are no longer in the 1960s or 1970s. Very little is the same – especially in the automotive world. People might get excited about Buzz, though who will buy one?

Personally, I still think Buzz can be a huge hit. As suggested above, I see it as a pretty multi-purpose kind of vehicle, and it’s a much desired thing in the 2020s. “Van life” is underway. Millennials and what the younger generations are called will not just have a commuter car or SUV that their parents had. They want a more fluid and break-from-the-norm life and vehicle (imho). I think Buzz will appeal to them about as much as it appeals to Baby Boomers who want to revive the spark of their teens and 20s – or just want to enjoy some kind of freedom again. Or maybe it’s just my dream.

In any case, I’m excited to see what Volkswagen has come up with to make Buzz unique, fun, exciting and reminiscent of a simpler life. How will they try to bring us back to a much simpler, cleaner and more carefree era? (Yes, I’m well aware that such a description might make some of you think I’m crazy, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

VW ID.Buzz

Picture lent by Volkswagen

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