Volkswagen's electric cars to help this Greece island to go green

Volkswagen and the Greek Government have started the transformation of Astypalea into a sustainable and smart island. On Wednesday, the first electric vehicles were delivered to the island by Volkswagen, including ID.4 electric vehicles as the first zero emission police car in Greece.

A Volkswagen ID.3 electric car next to an EV charging block in the island of Astypalea in Greece.
A Volkswagen ID.3 electric car next to an EV charging block in the island of Astypalea in Greece.

This is part of the German carmaker's 5-year $12 million green energy plan to convert nature of mobility on the entire Astypalea island in Greece to an electric fleet. The event was attended by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, and Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, among others. During the event, they also inaugurated the first public and private charging points on the island.

This event marks the beginning of the transition to full electrification of Astypalea. In the coming years, the island will move to sustainable and smart mobility and will completely modernise its energy system, after Volkswagen and the authorities signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard last November.

"Astypalea will be a future lab for decarbonisation in Europe. We will be researching in real time what motivates people to switch to e-mobility and which incentives are needed to transition to a sustainable lifestyle. The learnings will help to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable mobility and green energy in Greece. Astypalea can become a blue print for a rapid transformation, fostered by the close collaboration of governments and businesses," Diess said during the event.

The police fleet, which now gets ID.4 electric vehicles, will increase the number of zero emission vehicles and replace around 1,500 ICE cars by a third. Besides this, there will be 200 electric cars for locals and tourists to rent, instead of the island's bus service.

It has also been announced that subsidies will be offered to every inhabitant of the island who will buy electric vehicles, bikes and chargers. The sale of 'zero emission' models for customers will begin at the end of this month. People will be able to choose between the Volkswagen e-up, ID.3 and ID.4, as well as the eScooter Seat MO. So far, at least 12 EV chargers have been installed across the island. 16 more will be set up soon.

Greek PM Mitsotakis has ensured that Greece has the mission of transforming its economy and its society into Greece 2.0, leading the 'green' revolution and taking advantage of the latest digital technologies.

“Astypalea will be a test bed for the 'green' transition: energy autonomy, fully powered by nature itself. This beautiful island is a central pillar of the transition and I am immensely grateful to the local community for their continued support of this project, "he said.

As part of the project, the island's energy system will switch to renewable energy in two phases: between now and 2023, a new solar park will provide about 3 megawatts of 'green' energy, which will cover 100% of the electricity needed to charge electric vehicles and more than 50% of the demand of the entire island.

By 2026, the new energy system will be expanded to cover 80% of the total energy demand. In addition, the battery storage system will help balance the grid and fully utilise the solar park.

First Published Date: 03 Jun 2021, 10:37 AM IST
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