Volkswagen has announced its plans to launch an all-electric car-sharing service next year. VW’s ‘We’ platform is due to launch in Germany in 2019, with plans to extend to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia by 2020.
In a press conference in Berlin, VW announced that its ‘We’ platform is intended to “relieve the strain on urban areas” by providing “zero-emission, sustainable mobility”.
Translation: sharing cars will mean that less are needed in city centres overall, and having them be electric will bring emissions down even further.
While VW’s focus on eco-friendly travel is commendable, it’s safe to assume that their decision was also driven by changes in the market. The steady decline in car-ownership amongst young people and an increased interest in sustainability has led to a lot of interest in electric car-sharing services, both from automaker rivals and specific car-sharing brands.
The future is crowded
BMW’s Drive Now has been up and running across Europe for several years, while Renault has just announced that they will be launching an electric car-sharing service in Paris next year.
VW’s ‘We’ platform is being offered alongside its existing car-sharing platform MOIA, which focuses on non-electric ride-sharing and carpooling. The company also has several cars in the pipeline under its ‘MEB Platform’ which will be electric cars designed for people to own rather than to share.
Suffice to say, if there’s a new car trend doing the rounds, then VW wants a part of it.
This is a promising development in an industry that has taken too long to adopt an eco-friendly focus, and we expect more brands to follow suit. Tesla are due to launch their own ‘Tesla Network’ service, as soon as their fully autonomous driving technology is available.
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