Volkswagen is a step closer to selling a modern electric ute, having lodged patent applications for a new version of its ID Buzz van.
The brand has not officially confirmed plans to create a ute based on the ID Buzz, though it has previously teased fans with an illustration of how a tray-backed Buzz could look.
Such a car would build on the history of VW’s “Type 2” Transporter, commonly known as the Kombi.
The classic Type 2 was available with a variety of body styles that could be replicated by the new model.
It would give VW a point of difference to the new breed of electric pick-ups in America, where enormously powerful motors and huge batteries are core elements of the Ford F-150 Lightning and Hummer EV.
VW’s reborn Kombi recently went on sale in right-hand-drive form in the UK, giving prospective Australian customers an indication of what it might cost if the model makes it to local showrooms.
The news isn’t good.
Priced from £57,115 ($97,300) in basic “Life” trim, the ID Buzz combines a 150kW electric motor with a 77kWh battery offering 415 kilometers of range.
A better-equipped “Style” model costs about $105,500 but misses out on equipment such as a powered tailgate, wireless phone charging, heated seats or adaptive cruise control.
British owners who add those features to the Buzz will pay more than £71,000 ($120,000), pushing the model into luxury car territory.
VW’s Australian arm has expressed interest in the reborn Kombi but has not been able to wrestle supply of the car away from Europe, where the brand’s battery-powered machines are more readily available.