The Volkswagen Group is working with the Greek island of Astypalea to deliver what it calls a model for climate-friendly mobility.
New mobility services, the conversion of the island’s vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and the transformation of the energy supply are planned.
“We want to make Astypalea a model for sustainable mobility and climate-friendly energy supply, explained Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece. “To this end, we are entering into a long-term partnership with Volkswagen Group. We want to show how an international business enterprise, a local community and a European state can work together for the benefit of the people.”
The island has been chosen because it is “relatively modest” in size with 1,300 residents who support the project. This allows planners to completely change the energy system and mobility offering, and it is easy to observe how the project changes the community.
“Volkswagen has decided on a strategic reorientation towards sustainable e-mobility,” added Maik Stephan, Head of Business Development at Volkswagen Group. “The company is transforming itself from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility provider. On Astypalea we want to show and test how networked, climate-friendly and electrified mobility already works today. And we want to find out how the solutions are being received.”
The project will involve replacement of around 1,500 internal combustion engine vehicles with electric cars, identifying an area to try out autonomous driving and introducing on-demand transport rather than fixed bus routes. It will also analyse the different requirements of locals and tourists.