In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- There are a bunch of Volkswagen ID Buzz pickup pictures online!
- Are there any family-friendly electric cars out there?
- Does the Jeep 4xe need bigger batteries?
The first question comes from an FCA / Stellantis fan who heard a rumor about the 2023 Dodge Hornet PHEV.
Q: (Via: Twitter @NathanAdlen) Nate! There are pictures of a manufactured Volkswagen ID Buzz pickup online!
I just saw this picture and I want to know that it is coming to the United States
A: This is NOT a “production” Volkswagen ID Buzz pickup; it is a representation of one Possible production idea.
Volkswagen Group Design Manager Klaus Zyciora posted this unseen rendering on Instagram to tempt fans and evaluate their reactions. He described it as “an invisible variant of ID. Buzz.“
This is what he said on Instagram:
“Design Day 🤩✏️ with a picture of an invisible variant of ID.BUZZ. Shall we take it to the next level? ”
If you remember, I mentioned something in this style regarding a variant of the Volkswagen ID Buzz pickup. You can read about it (here).
I have a theory: the battery-powered MEB platform on which the new Volkswagen ID Buzz is currently built can carry over 1,400 lbs payload. There are already competitive ones with medium and full size pickups. Why not use this platform and build a simple pickup? Maybe something similar to the Honda Ridgeline in size?
There are many other renderings out there, including this cute one (above) from MotorTrend:
Do you want to download an ID Buzz? Me too.
Building something that is so utilitarian and (hopefully) affordable would be epic. Sure, that’s not what most people would think of when they imagine a “pickup truck”, but it is comes appeals to many. I’m guessing that the bed is about as long as the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which is (as long as) 48 inches. However, the bed looks much wider, maybe it’s 48 inches too?
Also imagine if the rear seats fold and the rear sprocket folds. You know, like a Subaru Baja, Chevrolet Avalanche or the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV? The possibilities with a van that has been converted to accommodate cargo are dizzying.
The idea is not exactly new to Volkswagen …
A great shoutout to the design community in the world 🌍
[Design Sketch]Edited · 1w
Look guys, Volkswagen Group Design CEO Klaus Zyciora literally challenged you to respond to his idea. he want the higher up on Volkswagen to light green on ID Buzz Pickup. If enough of you say, if you make a little noise – maybe they’ll build the ultimate hippy pickup.
Honestly, I think Americans would dig it!
The next question comes from a fan looking for a family-friendly electric car.
F: (: Twitter @NathanAdlen) My wife decided she wanted an electric car.
Which is the best family car? There do not seem to be many great options.
If you need to buy right now, there’s only one game in town. The Tesla Model X is the only (slightly) large SUV with a three-row alternative that is completely electric. Tesla used to sell a three-row version of the Model S, but that option was discontinued.
If your wife can keep up, there are a lot of three-wheel drive all-electric SUVs / crossovers coming soon.
Hyundai / Kia, General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and (possibly) Rivan, Fisker together with VinFast are expected to debut a three-row electric car sometime in 2022. There are others, but a majority of upcoming electric cars will have room for five. Some, like the VW ID Buzz, are not what I would call “SUVs”, but they can be good. By 2033, almost all car manufacturers are expected to offer a fully electric vehicle with three rows.
How about a plug-in hybrid car?
Why not check out PHEVs? There are already some options out there, including the excellent Volvo XC90 Recharge. Once again, the picks are a bit narrow today, but there will be plenty of PHEV three-wheel drive vehicles in the very near future.
The final round of questions and comments revolves around the Jeep’s 4xe battery size and capacity. Most of these comments were based on just one video, but we’ve seen these statements many times before.
F: (Via: YouTube) Here is a cross section of comments –
- Why bother paying for just 20 miles range?
- The terrain range for 4xe is terrible!
- It’s not worth the extra price for a little better petrol driving.
- You can easily double the size of the battery and get double the range!
- I’m not a fan of the glove guy – Steevie Reed
- Get the diesel and you will have a greater range.
- These jeeps are starting to get way too complicated.
- The weight penalty will kill its off-road capability
- How do you turn on when you are hundreds of miles away from an outlet?
- If I can not run my house as I can with a hybrid F-150, it is useless.
- What is the point of having both gas and electricity?
– There are others, but you get it.
A: There are a lot of blanks between fact and fiction regarding the current kit of Jeep 4xe vehicles.
I’m not here to defend the brand. In some cases, especially when it comes to overweight and price – I completely agree. Hell, a loaded Jeep Wrangler 4xe can easily exceed 5,200 pounds. It is no-bueno for off-road driving. The lighter the better the people.
In addition, I completely agree that Jeep must provide a system similar to Ford’s 9.6 or 7.2 kW power (240-volt AC outlet) found in the Hybrid F-150. Imagine: using your Jeep as a real off-grid power station. That would be epic.
With that said, there are many BSs we can cut through right now.
Scope: I guess if you think about 22 miles of electric range, some of you think it’s useless – WRONG. What happens if you commute to work and the total round trip is less than 200 km? Does that sound unlikely? About 75 percent of the people I know outside of work commute well under 200 miles daily.
Hon-Sem-Must-Alydas (my husband) usually drives under 250 miles a day on average, and her job requires a lot of commuting time. In addition, I know lots of people (including myself) who have employers who have chargers at work. In many cases, people could make a whole commute with just electricity. Nowadays it should be counted as a bonus.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe and Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe have a 17.3 kWh battery – which is large. For example, my Nissan Leaf, which is ALLELECTRIC, has a 30 kWh battery. The Jeep battery is stored under the seats, and (honestly) they are difficult to find extra space.
I mean, I guess you can drop the external spare tire on the Wrangler 4xe and add a solid, round battery.
As I said before, the importance is the enemy in the terrain. On top of that, you will kill your efficiency with more weight. Batteries are heavy, so the profits will probably not compensate for the cost.
Is diesel better?
The details of the Jeep Wrangler are quite crucial. Comparing the Wrangler (I have no information on a modern Grand Cherokee diesel because it does not currently exist) 4xe with diesel is eye-opening. The diesel exceeds the total combined mpg for 4xe by 25 mpg. It also seems to have a better range of up to 530 miles. Test at TFL Studios, we have seen almost 30 mpg performance on the highway, but it was in perfect conditions. In addition, the diesel is quite a lot lighter than the 4xe, which some say.
On the other hand, the Wrangler 4xe could in theory commute to mostly electric power. As I said before, there is something to think about, and the driving performance of the 4xe is superior to the diesel.
Uploading at a track: I guess you missed the message that Jeep is installing level 2 charging stations at stighuvuden Across the United States These 4xes can charge their own batteries, and they work well even though they use most of their charge. In addition, it is quite fun to ride terrain with all the electricity. It is not a good idea to just rely on the electric motor, otherwise your range will be emptied quickly. Still, it can be used if you crawl around wild animals – and stuff. The feel is pretty cool, and the torque is undeniable.
Speaking of 4xe …