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.
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.
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.
“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.”