Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has unveiled four new concept versions of its ID. Buzz, hinting at a wide range of extra possibilities for its well-received electric van.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz Flex-Cab
Revealed at the IAA Transportation event in Hannover, Germany, first among the concepts is a new Flex-Cab model built by Dutch firm Snoeks. Although it’s based on the commercial ID. Buzz Cargo, rather than the passenger model, the rear bay is equipped with a three-across bench seat. It can be positioned in one of two ways — as standard, leaving more cargo and luggage space behind the seats or further back for extra legroom. What’s clever about Snoek’s Flex-cab concept is that the seats can be electrically folded away at the push of the button, meaning that it’s especially versatile. Suggested uses by Volkswagen include a shuttle, taxi, community minibus “or as the perfect vehicle for the manual trades.”
Another potential use for the ID. Buzz is explored with VW’s second concept for a small ambulance or paramedic’s vehicle. Built by German manufacturer Bösenberg and described as a “near-production concept vehicle”, there’s room for three people with the space in the rear converted to function as a doctor’s workspace and to accommodate medical equipment. Drivers (or patients) won’t have to worry about the flashing lights draining the battery either — there’s a separate battery system for powering the auxiliary lights.
Likely to appeal to more in the way of general users is the box-body concept built by another German firm, Veth Automotive. The reworking of the ID. Buzz Cargo’s body substantially expands the cargo space available from 3.9 m3 up to 6.0 m3. The sides and back of the box body can be fitted with conventional or sliding side doors and/or roller doors, which guarantees that couriers can still reach parcels and boxes from both sizes. The IAA concept vehicle is fitted with a door on the front passenger side that extends down along the side, with shutters on the driver’s side rear, retaining large doors at the very back. The box body gives plenty of space for company logos and advertising, and the inside of the box is fitted with a grippy floor to stop loads sliding around.
The fourth (and coolest) ID. Buzz concept seen at Hannover is the refrigerated version by Wükaro, a German body builder. Like the ambulance, the innovation with the refrigerated ID. Buzz is that the refrigeration system does not operate using the same battery that powers the vehicle’s drive motors. Instead, the cooling system consists of a low-profile 230-volt cooling unit on the roof, four lithium-ion batteries and an inverter (to DC voltage into AC voltage) with an integrated battery charger. Housed within the wheel arches, the four batteries enable the system to run independently for six to eight hours, with the possibility of pre-chilling the cargo space whenever the van is connected to the mains for charging. The concept vehicle can, depending on specification, take a payload of up to 390kg.
Eye-catching, even if not particularly novel, and sitting alongside the other concepts at the convention centre in Hannover is a standard ID. Buzz Cargo service vehicle for German electrical company Miele painted in the company’s signature red. The rear of the Miele ID. Buzz has been fitted-out with shelving for storing tools and spare parts and anything else a technician might need for a call-out.