Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has unveiled a concept battery-electric commercial transporter van designed for commercial fleet usag, and includes an autonomous driving mode.
Part of the automaker’s I.D. family, which is a line of fully-connected electric vehicles, the zero-emission I.D. Buzz Cargo includes an adjustable workspace with an integrated laptop, a digital shelving system, and a solar panel that aids with vehicle charging.
Inside, the I.D. Buzz Cargo features a double bench-seat in the front passenger side; the middle seat can be folded down, which creates workspace for the driver and features the integrated laptop, according to Volkswagen. The new shelving system is connected to the intelligent I.D. Buzz Cargo via a customer-specific function control unit, which is fitted with sensors and a lighting system. By means of a mobile radio network, the functional control unit can communicate with a company’s job or order-management system, theoretically making it possible to track all articles on the shelves.
The transporter concept is a sibling of the I.D. Buzz. The I.D. Buzz Cargo was developed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, while the I.D. Buzz was developed by Volkswagen Passenger Cars, according to Volkswagen. The I.D. Buzz Cargo could be launched as early as 2021. Both models are members of the I.D. Family – a new generation of fully connected electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, the concept offers a fully-automated "I.D. Pilot" driving mode. During autonomous driving it is possible to accept, schedule, and process orders from the driver's workplace, according to the automaker. The shelving system's data also allows drivers to perform order-related stock checks while on the move. It is also includes flexible route planning, taking customer appointments into account.
Vehicles in the I.D. family can be delivered with different battery sizes according to the vehicle’s purpose and budget, VW said in a release. Due to its Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), the I.D. Buzz Cargo can achieve ranges between about 200 and 340 miles, as defined by the WLTP cycle.
The I.D. Buzz Cargo concept offers a maximum payload of is 1,760 pound. It is 198.7 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall, with a wheelbase of 129.9 inches, the automaker said.
The I.D. Buzz Cargo concept includes a solar roof, wide-opening rear wing doors, and a new rear bumper, according to VW. The front doors and sliding door open electrically. Unlocking the vehicle from the outside is activated via a sensor. The I.D. Buzz Cargo recognizes authorized persons via a digital key which is sent to the van from a smartphone.
Meanwhile, the solar module on the roof generates enough energy to be able to extend the range of the I.D. Buzz Cargo by up to 9.3 miles a day.
It will also be able to project key information onto the road in 3D via a Augmented Reality (AR) head-up display. Other information is displayed on a tablet, which also controls features such as infotainment and climate control functions. The main controls for driving, meanwhile, are located on the steering wheel. Rear view mirrors in the I.D. Buzz Cargo are substituted with cameras projecting images onto small screens in the cab.
It also features wide-opening, symmetrical rear wing doors for loading ramps. When the wing doors are opened, a workbench can be folded out. High-performance work tools can be supplied with power from 230V electrical sockets (16A) via the battery.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has combined the battery in the I.D. Buzz Cargo with a 201-horsepower (150 kW) electric motor. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 99 mph. The 48 kWh battery in the I.D. Buzz Cargo can be charged to 80% capacity in 15 minutes with a fast charging system operating at 150 kW direct current; the 111 kWh unit takes 30 minutes.