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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

All-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo debuts, but…

Four examples of the electric van will do service in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban as part of Volkswagen's local market feasibility study into EVs.

Known since 2019 to have embarked on a feasibility study regarding electric vehicle sales in South Africa originally with the e-Golf, ID.3 and now the ID.4, Volkswagen has officially expanded the trial period by affording four ID. Buzz Cargo vans to freight and logistics giant, DHL.

What is it?

Set to take place over the next six months, the four EVs will be used in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban as part of what Wolfsburg calls a “specialised last-mile delivery service” in partnership with DHL.

ALSO READ: Finally out: Volkswagen ID. Buzz switch flicked

Unveiled just over a year ago alongside the passenger carrying ID. Buzz, the Type 2 inspired van has a claimed cargo volume behind the bulkhead of 3.9 m3, a rated payload of between of 592 kg and 607 kg and a loadbay length of between 2 208 mm to 2 232 mm from the partition to the tailgate.

Volkswagen expands EV pilot study with ID. Buzz Cargo van
The vans handed over to DHL will see service in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Image: Volkswagen

Dimensionally, the ID. Buzz Cargo measures 4 712 mm long, 1 938 mm wide and 1 937mm tall while riding on a 2 989 mm wheelbase version of the EV optimised MEB platform.

Power and range

Volkswagen expands EV pilot study with ID. Buzz Cargo van
Cargo volume is rated at 3.9 m3 and the claimed payload between 592 kg and 607 kg. Image: Volkswagen

Unlike the long wheelbase ID. Buzz revealed in July, the Cargo is modelled on the standard wheelbase derivative, meaning it loses out on the bigger 91-kWh battery pack that produces 210kW/560Nm, as well as all-wheel-drive.

Instead, propulsion comes from the entry-level 82-kWh module that sends 150kW/310Nm to the rear wheels only.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo now in South Africa but not for sale
Despite being a commercial vehicle, the ID Buzz Cargo comes with a digital instrument cluster and 10-inch infotainment system as standard. Image: Volkswagen

Limited to 145 km/h, the ID. Buzz Cargo will get from 0-100 km/h in 10.2 seconds and require charging after 413 km Volkswagen says will necessitate a waiting time of 30 minutes from five to 80% when using a DC charger up to 170 kW.

Not for sale, for now

“Our partnership with DHL Express on the ID. Buzz Cargo test fleet marks the beginning of Volkswagen’s long-term plan to gradually introduce its electric vehicles in the local market,” Volkswagen South Africa’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Thomas Milz, said in a statement.

“At the end of the pilot test, we hope to have gathered sufficient information and insights on the readiness of the local market for the introduction of a commercial electric vehicle such as the ID. Buzz Cargo”.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo now in South Africa but not for sale
Sealed side windows the main difference between the ID. Buzz Cargo and ID. Buzz. Image: Volkswagen.

In the United Kingdom, pricing starts at £48 541 (R1 137 835) before government incentives, or €54 430 (R1 110 131) in Germany, also before the EV-supported deductions.

As with the ID.4 though, the ID. Buzz Cargo remains off limits for South Africans until the completion and findings of the pilot programme.

Additional information from Volkswagen UK

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