VW electric Buggy could reach production, but EV Beetle is toast
Volkswagen’s electric future is starting to take shape. CEO Herbert Diess, in an interview with Motor Trend, confirmed that VW will likely move forward with a limited production run of the electric ID Buggy dune buggy, which will join an electric Microbus based on the ID Buzz concept slated for 2022. However, an electric version of the Beetle—once envisioned as a pathway to keep the heritage model alive—is no longer in the works.
“This buggy is not yet production-ready, but it is an option,” Diess told MT. “It is a possibility. We already have our important volume models in the pipeline, and a few months ago we decided on the electric bus, which adds an emotional but mono-volume-style car.”
If the ID Buggy becomes more than a possibility, assembly will likely be outsourced to EV startup e.Go Mile. Expect 5,000 to 10,000 units as a realistic production figure, the VW boss said.
Once VW decided on the ID Buzz electric bus as a volume vehicle, Diess said the company started thinking about something even more “emotional” from its heritage as inspiration for a low volume, niche vehicle. The Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Scirocco, and even the Kubelwagen-based Thing were considered and rejected.
“We decided on the Buggy,” Diess told MT, “because it was the most emotional or irrational product that you can imagine.” Furthermore, “It works well with an electric drivetrain.”
Volkswagen’s first mainstream electric offering will be the ID hatchback, planned as a 2020 model year vehicle with up to 300 miles of range. A crossover called the ID Crozz will follow, first as a German-built model. Production will later shift to VW’s Chattanooga plant, which just received an $800 million investment.