AUSTIN (KXAN) — Soon, one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable vehicles will get a reprise in the U.S.
On Trinity Street in downtown Austin for SXSW, the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is on display, showing off an updated sleek design and complete interior makeover to the classic VW Type 2, better known in the U.S. at the VW Bus.
It moves the German automaker further into the electric vehicle space after the ID.4 crossover SUV, taking one of its most popular models and bringing it back to the public.
There are two buses on display downtown, an orange one on Fourth and Trinity streets next to the Austin Convention Center and a mint green one at its main display on Sixth and Trinity.
Right now, it’s only available in Europe. Volkswagen is targeting 2023 as the official reveal in the U.S. with the first models being on the road in 2024. The European models, which have a wheelbase a foot shorter than the U.S. models will have, are the ones on display for SXSW.
Like the VW Bus of old, one of these models will be camping-capable, so to speak. Volkswagen representatives at SXSW said the camper model, known as the “California” model, will be available in Europe, but couldn’t confirm if it will come to the US.
Ford is making an all-electric cargo van out of its Transit model and Mercedes is doing the same with its Sprinter.
In August 2021, President Joe Biden signed a nonbinding order encouraging automakers to produce enough electric cars for 50% of all new car sales to be electric by 2030. By 2050, the president’s hope is to have zero-emission vehicles exclusively by 2050.
According to Austin Energy, Austin is the fifth-best city in the country when it comes to electric vehicle readiness. KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout previously reported that the city has more than 1,200 charging stations for electric cars scattered throughout town.