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Volkswagen Group has launched the ridesharing service ASTYBUS and the vehicle sharing service astyGO on the Greek island of Astypalea, as part of the “Smart & Sustainable Island” project. They were put into operation in the presence of Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess.

Both mobility services are operating exclusively with fully electric vehicles and ensure significantly improved mobility on the island.

The new mobility services replace the conventional bus line, improving mobility for both residents and tourists.

The ASTYBUS ridesharing service will start operation with five vehicles of the Volkswagen ID. Buzz once the model has been launched in autumn 2022. Until then, the service will be operated with the ID.4.

Via the vehicle sharing service astyGO, customers can rent electric cars from Volkswagen as well as e-scooters from SEAT MÓ and e-bikes from Ducati.

A second solar system has also gone into operation, supplying the current e-fleet with green energy.

By 2026, the island wants to switch to smart, sustainable mobility and completely modernise its energy system.

The joint project of the Volkswagen Group and the Hellenic Republic serves as a future laboratory for a rapid decarbonisation in Europe.

Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, says: “The discussion about the shift from fossil fuels to renewables has gained new momentum in Europe. Volkswagen is a driver of change, leading the transformation to e-mobility in Europe. Here on Astypalea, we are introducing new mobility services as the next step towards the future of transportation. It’s exciting to see the project grow, with people willing to change their habits. It demonstrates that a rapid transformation to green mobility and green energy is feasible if businesses and governments work hand in hand.”

“astyGO is a sharing offer, allowing people to book e-bikes, electric cars and e-scooters. ASTYBUS, on the other hand, is a ridesharing service, taking passengers to almost 30 destinations on the island,” explains Volkswagen’s project leader, Virginie Robin. “Customers can pay per ride or book a flat rate. We also offer an inexpensive annual ticket for 60 euros to the islanders.”

Kostas Frangogiannis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness, adds: “The project of Astypalea reflects all the comparative advantages of today’s Greece, that is, how the traditional natural wealth and the precious human capital of the country, can, with the support of a political leadership facing the future and its challenges, with an open eye and with vision, bring the country to the world forefront. I am very proud of what we have achieved so far, for the citizens of Astypalea and for the whole country, especially at a time when the need to diversify and move away from traditional energy sources has become even more urgent, globally. A warm thank you to all the supporters of the effort, to the government, to the local authorities, to the business world and to the citizens who dare.”

Volkswagen Starts Mobility Services On Astypalea, Marking Next S
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Astypalea.

The number of electric vehicles on Astypalea is growing continuously. After the police, airport authorities and the municipality switched to e-mobility last year, now Greece’s first electric ambulance is being added. A first e-taxi transports customers across the island and recently, the first private customer received his ID.3. 

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