Currently reading: VW ID Buzz California unlikely to arrive until late 2020s
Electric camper van project wasn't delayed for technical reasons but because of insufficient demand

A ‘California’ camper of the Volkswagen ID Buzz won't arrive until much later this decade because a market for it has yet to materialise, the firm’s executives have said.

German publication Edison last year reported that the camper van was delayed because it would weigh more than 3.5 tonnes with passengers and luggage on board, meaning it would require owners to hold a higher-category driving licence.

Speaking at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) annual press conference, sales and marketing chief Lars Krause hit back against this notion, saying: “I also read this article and was a little bit smiling.”

Krause conceded that technical challenges are posed “in all development programmes” but followed that “this has nothing to do with stopping a project”.

He instead attributed the delay in the ID Buzz California project to the lack of demand for an electric camper van.

He said: “This is of course something that we have in our minds, since this car is iconic. The ID Buzz is iconic and of course a potential ID Buzz California would be iconic.

“I can tell you we always start from the market, and looking at the market figures and looking closely at our customers, it turned out that the need for these types of vehicles – BEV-driven campers – is not there yet from our perspective.

“We expect the demand to come closer to the second half of the decade, and this is also why we are focusing on this timeframe to come up with a solution, with the BEV-drive ID Buzz California. This is the reason.”

VWCV CEO Carsten Intra added that the new Volkswagen California, based on the combustion-engined Volkswagen Multivan, will offer a plug-in-hybrid powertrain as a “step into electrification” for the camper van market.

VW Multivan California tent up

Intra said: “We have the Multivan now as a four-wheel-drive PHEV with a long range, and that will be a step into electrification of our California models as well.


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So with the new California coming this year, you will be able to go to the camp ground making no noise; you can drive around in the surrounding with no need for ICE use. So that is actually for us a very important bridge towards that segment."

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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