Volkswagen Gears Up for EV Car-sharing Service in Berlin
【Summary】Initially, Volkswagen’s EV car-sharing fleet will consist of 1,500 e-Golf cars during the early stages of the launch. According to Volkswagen analysts, on-demand auto offerings in Europe are expected to grow 15 percent per year.
Volkswagen's plans to incorporate EVs with commercial transportation services just reached a new milestone. Earlier this month, the Germany-based automaker announced it is preparing to launch an all-electric, car-sharing service in Berlin.
If all goes according to schedule, the company's EVs will be available to locals residing in the city by Q2 of 2019. As part of the ‘We Share' platform, the highly anticipated service is considered to be one of the largest EV fleet used for car-sharing.
Read on to learn more about the leading car manufacturer's plans to support sustainable transportation services.
All-electric, Car-sharing Service
Initially, Volkswagen's EV car-sharing fleet will consist of 1,500 e-Golf cars during the early stages of the launch. By 2020, it intends to introduce 500 e-up! units to the city to expand the service. With the EV car-sharing service, the automaker is targeting young adults with busy lifestyles.
In the long term, the automaker will likely replace all e-Golfs and e-up! vehicles, in favor of its upcoming all-electric ID series. Such EVs are still under heavy development and will feature an optimized battery pack, as well as driverless capabilities.
"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. We are democratizing e-mobility," explained Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales.
Similar with other car-sharing services, the company's platform is accessible using a mobile phone. Customers can summon rides, check availability and view transaction histories through the smartphone app.
Expanding to New Markets
According to Volkswagen analysts, on-demand auto offerings in Europe are expected to grow 15 percent per year. In order to capture a lion's share of the nascent market before its competitors, the company expressed intentions to rapidly expand its car-sharing services outside of Germany.
According to the business, its primary objective is to roll out the EV-based service to locations with population counts over one million. Volkswagen also hinted at plans to launch car-sharing programs in North America, where it is installing a vast network of EV charging stations.
"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," said Stackmann.
Unsurprisingly, other third-party companies are using electrified Volkswagen units to power their car-sharing services. For instance, in London, Zipcar unveiled plans to include 300 all-electric e-Golf units to its existing car-sharing fleet. The business currently offers rides to roughly 200,000 customers in the area.
Zipcar will use the new EVs to support its one-way transportation services, called Flex. The ‘drive and drop' option allows customers to make a booking, use the vehicle and drop it off at any approved Zipcar zone in the city. The service is accessible through a mobile app, which is also used to unlock the car. Keys are stored in the glove compartment for seamless access and minimal delays.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
Waymo Receives Permit to Participate in California’s Autonomous Vehicle Pilot
How Do Autonomous Cars Deal with Double-parked Vehicles?
Kitty Hawk and Boeing Form Partnership to Make Flying Cars Safer
Waymo to Bring Driverless Cars to France and Japan via Nissan-Renault Partnership
Porsche Forecasts EVs Going Mainstream
Zomato Tests Drones for Food Deliveries in India
Alibaba Brings Tmall Genie to Audi, Honda and Renault Vehicles
Driverless Sensor Startup Sense Photonics Raises $26 Million in Series A Funding
- Ford’s New F-150 Pickup Goes on Sale in November, a Fully-Electric Version Will Enter Production in 2022
- Xilinx & Continental Create the Auto Industry’s First Production-Ready 4D Imaging Radar for Autonomous Vehicles
- Driverless Waymo One Service Goes Public in Phoenix
- Electric Truck Startup Lordstown Motors to go Public in Blank-Check Reverse Merger Deal
- 2022 Ford E-Transit Arrives With 126 Miles of Range
- Apple iPhone Assembler Foxconn Wants to Supply the Components for 10% of the World’s EVs
- Chinese Electric Automaker Xpeng Motors Files for U.S. IPO in Bid to Challenge Tesla
- Volkswagen Aims to Be the World’s Biggest Producer of Electric Drivetrains, Production Begins in China
- Amazon’s New Fully-Electric Vans Represent the Future of Last-Mile Delivery
- General Motors CFO Unexpectedly Departs to Take Role at Online Payment Startup Stripe