Volkswagen and SEAT want to turn the idyllic Greek island of Astypalea into an electric car paradise

In the style of the futuristic city that Toyota wants to build for the sake of research and powered by hydrogen, the Volkswagen Group has signed an agreement with the Greek Government to transform, in this case, an existing island: that of Astipalea.

They want this idyllic setting on the Aegean Sea to become a benchmark of electromobility, full of electric cars, of SEAT electric scooters and powered by renewable energy.

A long-term project

Smart Island Vag 3

Astipalea has about 1,300 inhabitants, 18 km long, 13 km wide and an area of ​​95 km², and despite its size it has an airport.

At the center of the project of the German consortium, nicknamed ‘Smart Green Island‘is a transportation system with digital mobility services, including a year-round all-electric carpool service designed to replace the current local bus service.

According to the Volkswagen Group, together with local partners, part of the traditional car rental business will be transformed into a shared vehicle service that will offer SEAT brand electric scooters and electric bicycles, in addition to electric cars.

The objective is to reduce the fleet of vehicles on the island. In total, some 1,000 electric vehicles are expected to replace some 1,500 combustion engine vehicles, including utility vehicles, police fleets, ambulances and public sector fleets.

Volkswagen will install its Elli chargers across the island with 230 private and several public charging points, it says.

Smart Island Vag 2

The energy will be generated mainly from local green energy sources such as solar and wind. It is, however, an announcement that must be taken into perspective, since the project will initially have a duration of six years.

“Governments cannot deliver alone and the private sector is not the answer to all questions. That is why this ambitious effort is the result of close collaboration between the Greek state and the Volkswagen Group,” said the first. Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

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