Volkswagen is showing a concept cargo van at the LA Auto Show called the I.D. Buzz Cargo, that offers another exhibit of evidence that it may compete in the U.S. commercial van segment in the near future.
The I.D. Buzz Cargo is based on an earlier concept van, the battery-electric I.D. Buzz, and offers a few interesting features for the commercial buyer, including a cargo sorting system. With its blue-and-white striping and stenciled numbers on the side door, Volkswagen's show vehicle is set up as a support van for its I.D. R Pikes Peak race car.
The van could work effectively in a parcel delivery fleet that brings last-mile service in an urbanized zone. In congested cities, the electrified powertrain would help the van reduce fuel waste and harmful emissions, as well as lowering operating costs, according to VW.
Like the earlier I.D. Buzz, the wheel can fold into the dashboard so the vehicle could operate autonomously. It would be powered by a single 201-horsepower electric motor mounted to the rear axle and 48-killowatt-per-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The range is estimated at between 200 and 340 miles.
The van could enter production no earlier than 2022, according to the company. Mercedes-Benz USA has decided not to offer its battery-electric eSprinter to U.S. buyers due to lower demand. The vehicle is available in Europe.
Earlier this year, in June, Volkswagen formed a strategic alliance with Ford with the stated goal of developing a commerical vehicle that could be a cargo van.