VW to Electrify Greek Island

Following Renault’s BEV take-over of a French town’s transport, Volkswagen has gone one better with the electrification of an entire Greek island.

The automaker has announced it will establish and full e-mobility transportation system on the Mediterranean island of Astypalea. It hopes the current transport system on the island will transition to electric vehicles and renewable power generation become a model island for climate-neutral mobility.

VW has signed a memorandum of understanding with the island’s governing authorities to develop the ecosystem that will include vehicle sharing or ridesharing to help reduce traffic congestion and improve efficiencies. Energy will be primarily generated from local green power sources such as solar and wind. The project initially will run for six years.

Together with local partners, part of the traditional vehicle rental business will be transformed into a vehicle sharing service offering e-scooters from the Group’s Seat brand and e-bikes in addition to electric cars. This alone is hoped to significantly reduce the vehicle fleet on the island. In total, about 1,000 of VW’s ID. family electrified vehicles shall replace about 1,500 vehicles with combustion engines.

Commercial vehicles from local businesses as well as utility vehicles on the island, such as police vehicles, emergency services transport and public sector fleets, will also be electrified. The automaker will install its Elli chargers across the island offering about 230 private and several public charging points.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: “Politics, business and society have a common responsibility to limit climate change. Our long-term goal is climate-neutral mobility for everyone and with the Astypalea project we will explore how to realize that vision already today. E-mobility and smart mobility will improve the quality of life, while contributing to a carbon neutral future.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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