Electric Volkswagen Transporter, Caravelle and California launched

Volkswagen introduces electric powertrain for Transporter, Caravelle and California vans, with 250 miles of range

Volkswagen has announced that facelifted versions of its Transporter minibus, Caravelle van and California camper will arrive in the autumn, with all three getting the option of a new electric powertrain.

Developed in partnership with ABT – which revealed a tuned, electric e-Transporter earlier this month – the electric variants of the German manufacturer’s ‘T6.1’ commercial-vehicle range will be offered with either a 38.8 or 77.6kWh battery.

These will deliver around 130 and 250 miles of range respectively, although those figures are are derived from the old NEDC testing system as opposed to the new, more representative WLTP regime.

An electric motor will produce 110bhp, but Volkswagen has yet to reveal how this will affect performance figures for the Transporter, Caravelle or California.

Charging details are also being kept under wraps, although the range is likely to be compatible with CCS fast charging up to 40kW, as is the case on ABT’s e-Transporter.

That would mean a 0-80% charge would take 49 minutes for the smaller battery, rising to 98 minutes for the larger unit.

Besides the introduction of the electric powertrain, a raft of improvements and design tweaks have been made: Volkswagen has boosted the number of safety features on its vans with parking assistance, traffic-jam assistance and trailer assistance systems made available. ‘Cross Wind Assist’ has also been added, stabilising Volkswagen’s vans during strong gusts.

Inside, the eight or 9.2-inch infotainment screens have been revamped with redesigned layouts, and Apple CarPlay works wirelessly via Bluetooth. Compatible smartphones can be charged wirelessly, too.

Meanwhile, the Transporter now boasts electric windows, central locking, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, LED interior lights and a 230V AC power supply as standard.

Prices are set to be announced at a later stage.