VW’s Greek Island EV Experiment Shows Promising Signs For The Future

by 9SIX
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It has now been two years since Volkswagen turned the Greek island of Astypalea into a massive laboratory for zero-emissions transportation, and the automaker is looking back on how it’s gone so far.

Volkswagen worked with the island’s authorities to introduce two transportation options earlier this year. “ASTYBUS” is a ride-hailing service that allows residents and tourists to travel to 30 locations on the small island in ID.4 and ID. Buzz models.

The second option is an app-based service called astyGO. Residents and tourists can book e-bikes, smaller electric vehicles, and e-scooters to drive or ride to any spot on the island. Together, the automaker claims that these products give residents of the island more transportation coverage than the previous transportation service.

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Nikolaos Komineas, the island’s mayor, said that on top of locals being transported to more places, tourists can also explore more of the island, and businesses are saving on transportation costs.

“We have seen that the CO2 emissions have been neutralized and let us not forget that the noise pollution has been reduced as well, so the first impressions have been very positive,” said Komineas.⁠ “The ride-sharing services have also created more room for people to ‘live’ as fewer cars on the road means less space sharing. For these reasons and more, both locals and tourists have reacted to this new way of life positively.”

Although Volkswagen admits that the island is a convenient area for this experiment given its small size, low population, and limited energy consumption, the experiment is going well. And the automaker is now looking to the future.

In the next four years, the number of electric VWs on the roads will rise to 1,000. To power them, a new solar park will be installed that will produce enough energy to power 80 percent of the island’s total energy demands by 2026. That, according to the Hellenic Republic, will reduce the island’s carbon emissions by up to 50 percent.

Although still in the early stages of the experiment, VW is hopeful that the model set in Astypalea will provide useful insights for the rest of the world.

“What is happening here is a revolution, a groundbreaking change that is very important,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece.⁠ “Many things are going to happen for the first time anywhere in the world here on Astypalea.”

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Source: carscoops

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