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VW ID.Buzz Camper Van Delayed Because It’s Too Heavy for Normal Licenses: Report

A retractable-roof version of the electric ID.Buzz could exceed the weight limit of a typical European driving license, which may affect its launch elsewhere.

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz California has been the hotly anticipated camper van of the decade since the North American return of the VW bus was announced. While the Buzz hasn’t landed stateside yet, Europeans have been able to buy regular, non-pop-up variants of the electric people-carrier while the California has been in development. Now, rumor has it the camper has been delayed, possibly for being too heavy for standard European driving licenses.

According to a report from German outlet Edison via Google Translate, the ID.Buzz California would weigh close to or over 7,700 lbs if it was released today, which happens to be the limit for the typical European category B motor vehicle license. If the California exceeds 7,700 lbs, most European drivers won’t be able to operate it legally without a C1 license that is meant for commercial vehicles, like transport trucks. The same report says this issue has delayed the camper van, with VW Commercial Vehicles searching for a solution to reduce weight.

The proposed Multivan camper concept. VW

Efforts to raise the Category B 7,700 lb maximum weight have been explored since earlier this year by the European Commission, according to the German Automobile Club (ADAC). Under the proposed licensing rules, the new maximum would be 9,400 lbs—enough to safely put the ID.Buzz California on European roads in the hands of ordinary drivers. Such a move would also open Europeans up to some of the heavier EVs from the U.S., like the GMC Hummer EV. It stands to reason VW would prefer this outcome, as developing a lighter tent system or more efficient batteries to provide the same range at a lower weight would likely require a serious investment of time, money and engineering talent.

While the fully electric California may have been delayed, the automaker’s plans to release a plug-in hybrid camper for European customers are ongoing, per Auto Express. That model won’t be based on the ID.Buzz, but rather the Multivan, to replace the T6.1 California. Either way, we won’t be seeing a battery-electric VW camper anytime soon. When asked about this report, a Volkswagen Group of America representative told The Drive “no comment at the moment.”

Update August 11, 2023, 3:20 p.m. ET: Volkswagen’s North American Public Relations Director Mark Gillies told The Drive on Friday that the report about the ID.Buzz California being delayed is “incorrect,” citing colleagues in Germany.

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