After 40 years, the VW Bus is returning — with a few modifications.

The upcoming ID.Buzz is a modernized version of its classic predecessor, complete with two-tone paint and an easy-to-spot VW logo, but it's got one electrifying twist: It's built on the MEB electric platform. 

"We were the first major automotive corporation to sign on to the Paris Climate Accords. We made the commitment to be CO2 neutral, and I think the reason is, simplistically, is we're the world's largest car company," Volkswagen America CEO Scott Keogh said about the company's shift to electric vehicles. "We are responsible for 1 percent of global CO2 emissions. And frankly, leaders have to lead."

Though Volkswagen was notably pinged for failing to meet European Union emission standards in 2020, the company has made major strides. It passed 2021 benchmarks with flying colors, and has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. It sold 452,900 EVs around the world last year.

However, only 17,000 of those EVs were sold in the U.S. in 2021. Part of this issue is getting the cars to the U.S., Keogh noted. The company has committed to investing $7.1 billion over the next five years toward North American manufacturing, including a Chattanooga, Tennessee, assembly plant expansion first announced in November 2019.

"You have one factory in Europe that was, of course, making Audis, making Volkswagens and wanted to keep a lot of them in Europe to make sure they hit their targets there," he said. "And that's why we're localizing. So the first thing we're going to do is get it up to speed."

There are other challenges facing the industry. Semiconductor shortages are hampering production. To reach Volkswagen's goal of 50 percent EVs by 2030, it would need to produce eight to nine million batteries in about 7.5 years, Keogh pointed out.

"This is going to be extremely challenging," Keogh explained. "I think the other thing with supply chains, of course, as you know, you have all the geopolitical issues that are happening right now. So I think this concept of it being quite chaotic and a little bit challenging is going to be ongoing."

Electric charging station infrastructure needs to be expanded as well. Currently, there are just over 46,000 public charging stations across the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. President Joe Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure package earmarks $7.5 billion towards a network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030.

But Keogh believes the current capacity can support more vehicles. Electrify America, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen America, currently has 850 stations online or coming soon with more than 2,300 chargers. Its ID.4s have charged 27 million miles so far. As gas prices continue to increase, EVs become a more lucrative option.

"People keep saying, 'What's the affordability index of an EV?'" Keogh said. "But you know, in your ID.4, we offer free charging. The pricing difference over three years between filling up at $4.50 a gallon and free charging is like $8,000. It's becoming a real massive tilt. So I think it's going to drive EV adoption even further."