Modular Bavarian VW ID. Buzz electric camper van goes full woody
Lamenting the upcoming demise of Volkswagen's Transporter T6.1 cargo van, soon to be replaced by a Ford-engineered van, self-described "wood worm" Gerd Niederlechner has turned his attention to the lovable all-electric ID. Buzz. The chief of Bavarian camper kit builder Natural Motorhomes (Natuerliche Reisemobile), Niederlechner has developed the warmest modular kit yet for Volkswagen's clean, green electric mini-bus, building base camp necessities out of real wood. The removable kit installs in a matter of minutes to create a five-seat two-sleeper e-camper.
While this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon had plenty of surprises and innovations, one aspect that disappointed us was the lack of new Volkswagen ID. Buzz camper vans on the floor. There were one or two show vehicles with rooftop tents, but not much in the way of all-new production-ready camper vans or in-vehicle camper-in-a-box kits. We had expected the show to be more of a debutante ball for all-electric VW mini-camper buses, especially after the pace of such vehicle introduction had been picking up throughout the first half of the year.
But just because new ID. Buzz campers were sparse at the Salon doesn't mean they aren't out there. In fact, as the show was winding down this past weekend, Natural Motorhomes (NM) was busy sending over information about its all-new ID. Buzz package, extending to the VW electric bus the same floor plan it offers on other small vans, including the Citroën Berlingo XL/Opel Combo and Volkswagen Caddy.
Natural Motorhomes lives up to its name by focusing on camper components made from real wood. For the ID. Buzz kit, buyers can select furniture made from oak, wild oak, maple, beech or spruce, enjoying the rustic warmth of nature's favorite structural material. The buyer also chooses between linoleum and white oiled oak flooring and selects from various cushion upholstery options.
Once those options boxes are all ticked, NM gets started crafting raw wood into a tiny but highly functional multi-component home on wheels. It follows what's already become a preferred path for Volkswagen's small electric van, pairing a longitudinal bench on one side with a console on the other. Unlike other conversions featuring a similar floor plan, however, this one keeps the rear seats in place, traveling to camp as a five-seater.
Natural Motorhomes' particular layout is simpler and more multifunctional than others, using the tall driver-side cabinet as a multipurpose storage/kitchen/dining/workstation unit. The upper fold-down face works as a kitchen counter in conjunction with the built-in sink that's piped to the 13-L fresh and waste water canisters stored below. The fold-down worktop also works as a dining table, desk or side table, depending on what one's doing inside.
Natural Motorhomes does not include a built-in stove, allowing owners to use a portable camping stove inside or out. The stowable outdoor table sets up below the tailgate for food prep and cooking in the fresh air.
At night, the removable cushion fills in the empty space in the rear center of the van to complete the 75 x 49-in (190 x 125-cm) bed that appears somewhat narrow and off-center but still capable of sleeping two people snugly. One or both of those campers might need to get a little diagonal, however. The included cushions top both the passenger-side bench and the folded rear seats.
NM rounds out its package with under-bench storage sized to hold a portable toilet, 12-V gooseneck LED reading lights and USB charging ports. The entire kit scales in at roughly 187 lb (85 kg) so won't weigh down the ID. Buzz's 263-mile (423-km) WLTP range any more than an average-size adult male passenger.
Natural Motorhomes' ID. Buzz kit starts at a price of €4,290 (approx. US$4,600), and the company says that it can be removed and installed in roughly five minutes using a single tool.
Source: Natuerliche Reisemobile (German)