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Hippie-Approved Volkswagen Electric Microbus Soon to Hit the Road
Volkswagen is bringing back its hippie-approved minivan but with a 21st century upgrade—the new I.D. Buzz is all-electric.
The concept car was first revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January and now the German automaker is officially putting its reinvigorated Microbus into production.
"Emotional cars are very important for the brand," VW boss Herbert Diess told Auto Express. "We are selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in U.S. markets. But we will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build."
Volkswagen has made a push towards earth-friendlier electric vehicles ever since its "Dieselgate" scandal. In October, following its historic emissions settlement, the company agreed to pay $4.7 billion for environmental programs and promotion of zero-emissions vehicles.
Digital Trends reports that the I.D. Buzz is powered by a pair of electric motors that provide 369 horsepower to all four wheels. Its 111kWh battery pack boasts up to 270 miles of range and charges up to 80 percent of its capacity in just half an hour.
And according to Carbuzz, when in autonomous mode, the steering wheel retracts and merges into the instrument panel, allowing the car to take full control of the driving.
"VW is also launching its own ride-sharing company, MOIA, in 2020 and the production-spec ID Buzz will undoubtedly play a key role," Carbuzz notes.
While its shell looks a lot like its iconic predecessor, the new version will be built off of the company's platform for electric vehicles, the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB).
"With the MEB platform this is the chance now to get the proportions back," VW design boss Oliver Stefani explained to Auto Express, noting that with an electric-car setup the engine does not need to be in the front. The battery pack being underneath the floorpan also allows for a larger passenger cabin compared to conventional cars.
"You can also get much more interior space, almost one class higher," Stefani added.
Digital Trends estimates that the car could hit the market as early as 2021.
"The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world," Volkswagen head of design Klaus Bischoff said before the concept was revealed in Detroit this year. "The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon."
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."