VW Group and Greece announced their plan to turn the small island of Astypalea into a model for electric and connected mobility services.
The German carmaker signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece to establish a radical mobility system on the small island of Astypalea, which will replace the island’s 1,500 vehicles with combustion engines with some 1,000 electric vehicles and launch an all-electric year-round ridesharing service.
Read More: 2022 VW Golf R Debuts With 315 HP, Torque Vectoring AWD, A Manual Gearbox And Drift Mode
The ridesharing service in Astypalea, which has a population of around 1,300 and is visited by some 72,000 tourists every year, is designed to upgrade the current and very limited local bus service. Part of the island’s traditional vehicle rental businesses will be transformed into a vehicle sharing service, offering e-scooters from SEAT and e-bikes, in addition to electric cars.
Commercial vehicles from local businesses and utility vehicles -including police cars, emergency services transport, and public sector fleets- will also be electrified.
The VW Group said that they will install around 230 private and public charging points across the island to establish the necessary infrastructure, while the required energy will be exclusively covered by renewable energy sources.
“Politics, business and society have a common responsibility to limit climate change”, said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. “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.”
“Today is a great day for Astypalea, the Dodecanese Region, the Aegean Sea and all of Greece”, added Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Today we are launching the first ´Smart Green Island` project in our country, which marks a major change in our outlook. Electric transport and a holistic, green, and sustainable action plan will have a positive impact on the everyday life of the island’s inhabitants. Combined with a pioneering public transport system, we are turning futuristic ideas into reality.”