After a series of false beginnings, Volkswagen finally brought the spirit of the original bus into the 21st century when it unveiled the human- and passenger-carrying forms of electric ID. Buzz in March 2022. The ID.Buzz concept, which debuted in January 2017, was easy to turn into a production model, and the Wolfsburg-based company released a documentary detailing the process.
Posted on YouTube and embedded above, the 42-minute video takes viewers through almost every stage of the van’s development. It begins with an overview of Buzz’s vast heritage, beginning with the T1 (often called bully or bus), released in 1949. It shows behind the scenes how Volkswagen then built the first prototype, creating different tolerances. The model has gone through tests and various design stages Integrating autonomous technology was an important part of the development process: Volkswagen would start self-driving, ID testing. Buzz-based prototype shuttle powered by technology provided by Argo AI in Hamburg, Germany in 2025.
The Volkswagen video also shows what lies beneath the lightning sheet metal, and concludes with a fascinating overview of how the van was built in Hanover, Germany. Parts of the decades-old factory were restored to create MEB-based buzz as well as transporters. Robots handle most of the manufacturing process, but human input remains important – and, for some, working at the Volkswagen plant is a family tradition.
Buzz distribution is expected to begin before the end of 2022 across Europe. Americans need to be more patient: we will get a long-wheelbase variant that has not yet been unveiled, and it should land in the showroom in 2024 as the 2025 model. However, only the passenger-carrying model has received a permit to travel to America. We don’t see cargo-hollowing vans here because of the chicken tax. It is also a family tradition: the 25% duty on trucks imported since 1964 also alleviates the commercial appearance of many older bus models.