VW to Launch e-Mobility Fleet in Berlin

Volkswagen is set to launch a 2,000 strong fleet of all electric vehicles into its car-sharing scheme in Berlin, Germany.

Its new “We Share” scheme is the first service in the brand’s “Volkswagen We” strategy aimed at non-owners. The first fleet of vehicles will be rolled out in the German capital Berlin and will comprise 1,500 e-Golf models when the service begins operating in the second quarter of 2019, with an additional 500 e-up! cars following on later. These vehicles will gradually be replaced by the first models from the new Volkswagen I.D. family from 2020.

Following the launch in Berlin, “We Share” is initially scheduled to roll out in further major cities in Germany. In parallel, there are plans to expand into core European markets and selected cities in North America from 2020. The primary focus will be on cities with a population of more than one million inhabitants.

Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen brand board member for sales said: “Because of the size and density of its population, Berlin is the ideal market and has the greatest potential. Many people who have already tested car sharing live there and the numbers keep on growing.”

One of the project’s main aims it to promote e-mobility through increase street-level visibility of its services, said Stackmann, adding: “We are democratizing e-mobility. From 2020, ’We Share’ is to support the market introduction of the new generation of our new, all-electric I.D. models and thus make a significant contribution to the Volkswagen brand’s e-mobility offensive.”

The service uses what VW call “free-floating car-sharing” to claiming it ensures “the spontaneous availability of electric vehicles for customers at all times”. At a later stage it plans to add smaller vehicles as “micromobility” solutions to its fleet of electric cars.

Philipp Reth, CEO of the Volkswagen subsidiary UMI Urban Mobility International, the group enterprise that will be managing car sharing operations from its base in Berlin, commented: “The prospects for vehicle on demand services are very good. The most conservative forecasts for Europe predict annual growth of 15%. We will continue to develop this market and make this form of mobility accessible to an even broader user group.”

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

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