Volkswagen is reportedly pushing back the reveal of its first electric camper van potentially beyond 2030 due to its excessive weight.
As reported by German publication Edison Media, if the Volkswagen ID. Buzz California was revealed today and had the same equipment as the current California 6.1, it would weigh at least three tonnes unladen.
If you loaded up the ID. Buzz California with people and their luggage, this would mean it could be too heavy for those with a European category B driving licence, which maxes out at 3500kg.
It’s worth noting in Australia a typical car licence allows for people to drive a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) no greater than 4500kg and seats for up to 12 people, including the driver.
Volkswagen reportedly hasn’t abandoned the project, with “intensive work” still ongoing. It requires a new battery technology that’s lighter, cheaper and also offers better energy density and range.
In the meantime Volkswagen is gearing up to reveal a concept version of its next-generation California camper van at the Caravan Salon trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, which will run from August 25 to September 3.
This new-generation Volkswagen California is based on the long-wheelbase version of the T7 Multivan that was revealed in 2021 and rides on the MQB architecture.
It’s set to go into production next year at the company’s plant in Hanover, Germany.
The new California will be available with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain for the first time. The related T7 Multivan also comes with an available PHEV powertrain which mates a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a 13kWh lithium-ion battery to produce a total system output of 160kW.
Volkswagen claims the T7 Multivan can travel up to 50 kilometres on all-electric power according to WLTP testing. It’s unclear if the new California will be able to match this claim.
At this stage it’s unclear if the new T7 California will be coming to Australia. Volkswagen Australia has indicated the T7 Multivan will be arriving locally in late 2024.
The all-electric ID. Buzz and its ID. Buzz Cargo commercial van equivalent have been earmarked to arrive in the second half of 2024.
If you don’t want to wait potentially until next decade for the official ID. Buzz California, a number a conversion companies are creating their own camper version of the ID. Buzz.