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The signature VW camper van, known as the California, has been in production since 1988. However, its original inception dates back to 1947 with the VW Type II van. It has since morphed into a symbol for the free-spirited Americans of the 1960s.
Unfortunately, the Volkswagen camper van is no longer available in the U.S., but production for an electric version is underway in Germany. Many camping enthusiasts are hoping the VW ID. California will sell stateside.
What is the VW ID. California?
It’s no surprise that amidst an EV revolution, VW has plans to electrify its camper van. While details on the new model are still vague, Gear Patrol speculates that it will run on Volkswagen’s MEB electric car platform. This is the automaker’s “modular electric toolkit,” which it will be using as the foundation for all of its EVs, built with the affordable mass market in mind.
The electric camper van will most likely be based on the VW ID. Buzz microbus. Equipped with a 110 kWh battery pack, the ID. California could reach 300 miles on one charge. This is certainly the ideal range, given that these vehicles are often used for long distance travel.
Of course, the cost of a VW camper van is less enticing. The base model ID. California starts at $75,000. Or, spend $100,000 for the fully-loaded version. Critics agree, it’s expertly built and the quality is evident, but you better really love camping to invest in this EV.
But will the VW camper van make its way to the U.S.?
VW has remained pretty quiet about the future of its EV lineup in the U.S. The automaker will be selling the passenger version of the ID. Buzz to Americans. So if the ID. California is indeed based on their microbus model, it seems reasonable to assume that production of the VW camper van in the U.S. could cost significantly less.
MotorBiscuit has a few theories as to why they don’t think the VW ID. California will be made available for purchase in the U.S. Of course, the uncertainty of the economy always plays a large role in this type of risky decision-making. Volkswagen doesn’t even sell its Transporter van stateside. And the commercial vehicle market is certainly more profitable than the camper van market.
We must wonder if VW missed its window of opportunity while RV sales skyrocketed in 2020 due to the pandemic. People were looking for an escape from quarantine life and many had the opportunity to work remotely. The van lifestyle is definitely trending at the moment, but the electric VW camper van might just be too niche to sell in the U.S., due to its price tag and specific use.
Governmental regulations and red tape may also be to blame. European carmakers could easily be paying $10,000,000 per vehicle model to cover these costs. Despite its namesake, it is unlikely we will see the ID. California, or any VW camper van, for sale in the U.S. anytime soon.
Insurance for a transient lifestyle
While you may not be buying a brand new VW camper van anytime soon, you can always explore other makes and used options. If you are ready to get road tripping and embrace the van lifestyle, Jerry’s no. 1 rated insurance app is here to help!
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