Einar Castillo, a former UNAM student designed the new Volkswagen electric van

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“I was a designer since I was a child and I didn’t know it,” says the Mexican Einar Castillo, who conceived the new Volkswagen ID.Buzz since 2002 and now it is a reality.

Less and less is missing before the long-awaited Volkswagen electric combi arrives, called ID.Buzz and designed by a Mexican. The reinvention of the classic vehicle is the work of Einar Castillo Aranda, a graduate of the Industrial Design Research Center (CIDI) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The former student of the highest house of studies raised the concept in 2002. His project won a design contest and led him to sign a contract with Volkswagen. He is currently a permanent member of the Design Team at the parent plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, and a lead designer for ID.Buzz.

“I was a designer since I was a child and I didn’t know it. I liked the idea of ​​robots, of space, of technology. I dreamed of doing something, of creating things, this is where the whole thing started, all the dreams that can come true. Everything can be achieved if there is passion and determination, I put all my efforts to achieve this,” Castillo said during a recent virtual meeting with CIDI students and academics.


“The current project has been incredible for me, it was a privilege. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. […] To be able to participate in an initiative of this magnitude with this amount of history, it was incredible. And here you can see, you can appreciate all the design spirit that we took from the combi, in this modern and fresh interpretation, ”he added when presenting the fully electric vehicle, according to a UNAM statement.

This is the new Volkswagen ID.Buzz in the words of its creator

Einar clarified that, although the new ID.Buzz model is inspired by the 1962 Volkswagen Type 2, his goal was not to “copy-paste” the combi. Instead, his idea was to “project it into the future, bring it back in a new, modern interpretation.” So he designed a van whose seats can be rotated to create “a lounge type,” he emphasized.

“We had to look forward. The Combi is very relevant to this day, it became an iconic car, thanks to its construction with its configuration of elements, so charismatic and so flexible when using it. Its proportion and silhouette made it unique, a car that you could do whatever you wanted with it, turn it into any number of different vehicles, configure the space for it however you wanted,” he described.

Castillo Aranda believes that the automotive industry is in a process of transformation.

“Ordinary engines will be left aside, we will move to electrification and autonomy of vehicles, which will be able to drive themselves through a voice command,” he said.

“The car will become whatever you want, in an office, in a room or in a place to hang out with friends. This shakes how we designers will face the cars of the future”, assures the Mexican.

Characteristics of the electric combi designed by Einar Castillo

The prototype of the ID.Buzz model was first revealed in 2017, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, USA. Volkswagen has said that it will be used for its large-scale commercial transport and delivery operation in Germany.

La Combi de Volkswagen regresa en la forma de furgoneta eléctrica | El  Universal Puebla

According to the German automaker ‘s website , this new electric car includes state-of-the-art assistance systems, such as ‘Travel Assist’. It has a local warning system ‘Car2X’ which allows detecting dangers in real-time and a “memory function” for automatic parking.

It also has an energy storage of up to 170 kW, and its bidirectional charging (Vehicle-to-Home) allows the integration of ID.Buzz into the home energy system, as well as recharging the battery when you are away from home.

Among its novelties, it stands out that it will have sensors and software to enable autonomous driving, so it is also expected to be the firm’s first autonomous vehicle.

The vehicle will initially reach the European market later this year, and it is expected that by 2024 it will also be sold in the United States and Canada. Until now, there is no date for its arrival in Mexico, where the classic combi has many followers.

“I was very pleased to have won the design contest in 2002 for the company where I work today, because at that time the strike had passed, and there have always been some sectors in Mexico that paint the UNAM differently. It gave me joy to be a graduate of CIDI and say: ‘Here we are! This is UNAM!’” concluded Einar Castillo Aranda.

Mexico Daily Post