It’s hard picturing the world automakers have painted for us. You know the one â€” it’s the exciting, progressive near-future vision in which electric crossovers sprout from everywhere all at once, instantly winning the approval of a populace hooked on the convenience ofÂ gasoline.
With the all-electric vehicle’s market share hovering at just over half of one percent in the United States, it’s difficult to imagine the needle budging significantly by 2020. Or even 2025. Still, an ever-increasing number of automakers are promising exactly this. Volkswagen’s among them, announcing at this week’s L.A. Auto Show that its horribly named I.D. Crozz concept will form the basis of a new crossover that arrives stateside in 2020, followed two years later by a reborn electric Microbus (or I.D. Buzz,Â in VW parlance).
Looking like the lifted, all-wheel-drive four-door coupe it more or less is, the I.D Crozz (VW had best ditch that name for something rugged) is billed as a crossover. Riding high, its proportions and stance telegraph an air of sportiness. It’s unlikely the production vehicle will look quite as bold, nor is it likely to retain such vaporware hallmarks as voice-activated sliding rear doors and an interior more suited to a boardroom briefing than a family road trip.
We’ve run through the specs before, but in the interests of convenience, here they are again:
VW claims a 300-mile range for the vehicle, accomplished via an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The super-fast charging station that’ll no doubt be everywhere in less than three years will pump that battery to 80-percent capacity within 30 minutes. During normal operation, only the rear axle seeks any traction, motivated by the vehicle’s 201-horsepower rear electric motor. Should grip vanish, the front motor lights up, sending 101 hp to the forward wheels.
“The I.D. CROZZ-based electric vehicle will be an affordable and stylish electric SUVâ€”and there is more to come!â€� said Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
â€œThe I.D. CROZZ and the I.D. BUZZ will help Volkswagen to kick off an EV revolution in the United States. All of our I.D. concept cars demonstrate the inherent flexibility, driving range and smart design that can serve the needs of 21st century drivers.â€�
Both bus and crossover variants ride atop the same modular MEB platform, tailor-made for EV powertrains. The same platform should appear under 13 other vehicles promised by VW by 2025. Don’t expect to see the whole crew arrive in the U.S, however. Answering China’s siren song is top of mind for volume-obsessed manufacturers these days.
Seeing whether or not significant demand exists for an electric AWD crossover with useable range will be interesting to watch. Maybe the populace is just waiting for the right specs before ditching the gas pump. As for the vehicle in question, expect to see it rolling off dealer lots in Tennessee in 2020, but not out of a factory. Not yet, anyway.
Germany’sÂ Automobilwoche claims the first U.S.-bound MEB platform vehicle will start production in Zwickau, Germany, moving to VW’s Chattanooga plant at a later date.
[Images: Volkswagen of America]