The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is a vehicle that takes inspiration from one of the all-time automotive classics – the T1 van from 1949 – bringing it right up to date with a fully electric powertrain. The first ground-up EV from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, it’s proved an immediate hit – not least with the What Van? Awards judges, who crowned it Electric Van of the Year for 2023.

Iconic styling cues from the classic model, such as the large front-mounted VW logo and distinctive two-tone paint schemes, are paired with modern – yet still highly stylish – features such as LED lighting. The van’s shape, with short bodywork overhangs, allows maximum utilisation of space on a minimal vehicle footprint, and also has a role to play in efficiency, with a low drag coefficient of 0.29, helping to reduce energy consumption and increase range.

Based on the MEB platform previously seen with models in VW’s car range, the ID. Buzz Cargo is powered by a 201hp electric motor, which drives the rear wheels, and a 77kWh battery, which delivers an official driving range of up to 256 miles. The battery is compatible with DC quick charging at speeds of up to 170kW, meaning a 5–80% battery charge can be completed in just 30 minutes – alternatively, AC charging at speeds of up to 11kW is possible, delivering a 0–100% charge in seven hours 30 minutes. Plug & Charge functionality means the van can authenticate itself at selected CPO chargers via the connector and automatically exchange payment information without needing to use separate apps or cards.

As for load carrying, payload is up to 607kg, and there’s a load volume of 3.9m3, while braked towing capacity is 1,000kg.

The ID. Buzz Cargo’s environmental benefits extend beyond its electric powertrain. It is the first van to be made and shipped on a carbon-neutral basis, and features no leather or other materials of animal origin, thanks to the use of materials such as Seaqual, a blend of collected ocean plastics and recycled bottles which is used to trim the seats.

Interior technology includes a 5.3in ID.Cockpit display, and 10in infotainment touchscreen (12in optional). Other equipment includes Climatronic air conditioning and up to five USB-C sockets.

A standard fixed bulkhead keeps the cabin separated from the load bay, while an optional windowed bulkhead allows an eye to be kept on cargo. A load-through bulkhead is also available. Access to the load bay at the rear is via either a car-style tailgate or wing doors, and there’s also two sliding doors. 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles head of marketing Kate Thompson said: “We’re delighted to see the ID. Buzz Cargo add What Van?’s Electric Van of the Year accolade to its trophy cabinet. 

“The reaction to our new van has been phenomenal, with its smiling face and head-turning looks often cited as making it stand out. But for it to be recognised by specialists in commercial vehicles and impress the expert judges shows that it’s a genuine game-changer in the van world.

“Strong residual values and competitive total cost of ownership combine with impressive space and driving range in the ID. Buzz Cargo, giving it true fleet manager appeal, while striking design, sustainability credentials and class-leading connectivity and safety features also make it a firm favourite with drivers.

“We’re sure it’s heading for a bright future, and this award only serves to give extra confidence to customers that they’ve made a great choice.”