HANOVER, Germany -- Volkswagen highlighted its idea for a battery-powered delivery van at the commercial vehicle show here with the retro-styled I.D. Buzz Cargo.
VW envisions the Cargo as a fully connected delivery vehicle with the ability to operate in autonomous mode, which would allow the driver to schedule and process deliveries while the van is in motion. It was designed to be close to production level and could be launched as early as 2021, VW said in a statement.
The Cargo would be powered by a 150 kilowatt (201 hp) electric motor mounted on the rear axle, and rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Range would depend on battery size and usage. Volkswagen says energy collected by the photovoltaic roof can extend the range of the Cargo by up to 16 km (10 miles) per day. It is also equipped to use an induction-charging floor plate.
The I.D. Buzz Cargo would be positioned below the Crafter in VW's light-commercial vehicle lineup. At 18.1 feet long, it is slightly larger than the Caddy and Caravelle vans.
VW has already said it will produce the I.D. Buzz electric passenger van by 2022 with a design reminiscent of the original rear-engine, air-cooled Microbus. Differences from the passenger concept include double swing-out rear doors, a single-sliding side door and a solar roof panel that can help charge its batteries. It is also longer than the passenger version.
VW has dipped a toe into the electric-van market with the e-Crafter, which will be retrofitted by Volkswagen partner ABT and appear on the market in 2019. VW said at the Hanover show that ABT would also produce electric versions of the Caddy and Transporter small- and midsize-vans.
VW brand will start producing cars under the I.D. badge by 2020, based on its MEB electric vehicle architecture. The I.D. hatchback and I.D. crossover will launch first in early 2020.