Volkswagen ID Buzz long-term test: report 2

We're charging ahead with our Volkswagen ID Buzz, but can the UK's EV infrastructure do justice to our Car of the Year?...

Volkswagen ID Buzz LT on beach

The car Volkswagen ID Buzz Style SWB 77kWh Pro Run by Stuart Milne, digital editor

Why it’s here We want to find out if a more traditional MPV format can still make for an appealing and practical family car. And more importantly, if the funky styling can win over diehard petrolheads.

Needs to Offer effortless practicality to families, yet be the consummate commuter car

Mileage 7807 Price £63,715 Target price £63,715 Price as tested £68,255 Official range 255 miles Test range 260 miles

22 October 2023 – Charging ahead

Charge little, charge often is some sound advice when it comes to running an electric car. Certainly it’s the case if you want to keep your bills as low as possible.

It’s something I’ve been pretty evangelical about over the last 2200 miles with my Volkswagen ID Buzz. At my current electricity price of just over 29p per kilowatt hour (soon to drop down to 27p), a charge from 0-100% at home costs £22.33. Of course, that’s an absolute worst-case scenario, because just as most drivers don’t run their petrol or diesel car down to the fumes in the tank, my Buzz’s battery has never been below 10%.

Volkswagen ID Buzz sat-nav

In reality, then, a typical home charge costs me around £15-18. And, so far, in reasonably warm weather, it’s good for around 240 miles (it’ll be interesting to see how the cold impacts that figure).

I was left kicking myself recently, though, when I forgot to plug in one night. The following day’s trip to work was stress-free, and the car was showing 106 miles to cover a 90-mile drive home. No worries.

Until it was time to worry, of course: halfway around the M25, that 16-mile buffer had vanished. I sought out rapid chargers on my route using the Buzz’s sat-nav, and headed to a Shell Recharge plug in Enfield – but it didn’t acknowledge it was out of action, and seemed to have been for some time. The next-nearest suitably-rapid charger that didn’t require a significant detour was a BP Pulse. This was both operational and available.

So, all's well that ends well? Well, not quite. While it delivered a decent slug of power at 135kW, the costs were pretty eye-watering at 85p per kilowatt. But what really stung was the £1.50 connection charge. That totalled just over £11 to give about 30 miles of range – the equivalent in cost to covering the journey in something covering about 15mpg. Expensive lesson learned.

Volkswagen ID Buzz home charging

None of this was the fault of the Buzz, of course, although it did highlight that the built-in nav is nowhere near as intuitive as Google Maps accessed through Apple Carplay.

Other charging gripes are pretty trivial: the charge flap can be a little tricky to shut properly and the bright light designed to illuminate the socket dazzles at night, making it harder to see what you’re doing.

That apart, the ID Buzz is proving to be the perfect do-it-all-in-style family car.

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