Volkswagen and the Greek government have started to transform Astypalea into a sustainable and smart island. The first electric vehicles were delivered to the island by Volkswagen on Wednesday, including ID.4 electric vehicles as Greece’s first zero-emission police car.
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It’s part of the German automaker’s 5-year, $ 12 million green energy plan to convert the nature of mobility across Greece’s Astypalea island into an electric fleet. The event brought together, among others, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greek Prime Minister, and Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. During the event, they also inaugurated the first public and private charging stations on the island.
This event marks the start of the transition to full electrification of Astypalea. In the coming years, the island will switch to sustainable and smart mobility and completely modernize its energy system, after Volkswagen and the authorities signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard last November.
“Astypalea will be a future decarbonisation laboratory in Europe. We will research in real time what motivates people to switch to electric mobility and what incentives are needed to switch to a sustainable lifestyle. The learnings will help accelerate the transformation towards a sustainable lifestyle mobility and green energy in Greece Astypalea can become a model for rapid transformation, fostered by the close collaboration of governments and businesses, ”said Diess at the event.
The police fleet, which now has ID.4 electric vehicles, will increase the number of zero-emission vehicles and replace around 1,500 ICE cars with a third. On top of that, there will be 200 electric cars for hire for locals and tourists, instead of the island’s bus service.
It was also announced that grants will be offered to every inhabitant of the island who will purchase electric vehicles, bicycles and chargers. Sales of “zero emission” models to 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 Seat MO eScooter. So far, at least 12 EV chargers have been installed across the island. 16 more will soon be installed.
Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis ensured that Greece’s mission is to transform its economy and society in 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, entirely 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 for this project, ”he said.
As part of the project, the island’s energy system will switch to renewable energies in two phases: by 2023, a new solar park will provide around 3 megawatts of “green” energy, which will cover 100% of the electricity needed. when recharging. electric vehicles and more than 50% of the demand of the whole island.
By 2026, the new energy system will be extended to cover 80% of total energy demand. In addition, the battery storage system will help balance the grid and make full use of the solar park.