The Volkswagen brand is to launch an extensive all-electric car sharing offering in selected major cities under its “We Share” sub-brand. The first fleet of vehicles will be rolled out in the German capital Berlin, and will comprise 1,500 e-Golf when the service begins operating in the second quarter of 2019, with an additional 500 e-up! following later.
These vehicles will gradually be replaced by the first models from the new Volkswagen I.D. family from 2020. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, commented: “We want to motivate young, urban users to engage with e-mobility. The people of Berlin will be the first to enjoy the electrifying experience of our ’We Share’ car sharing offering.”
“We Share” is the first service in the new ecosystem “Volkswagen We” aimed at non-owners. Jürgen Stackmann added: “Because of the size and density of its population, Berlin is the ideal market and has the greatest potential. Many people who have already tested car sharing live there, and the numbers keep on growing.”
Volkswagen is also aiming to draw attention to the benefits of e-mobility and stimulate interest in the technology with the high-visibility fleet of 2,000 “We Share” vehicles. According to Jürgen Stackmann, “we are democratising e-mobility. From 2020, ’We Share’ is to support the market introduction of the new generation of our new, all-electric I.D. models and thus make a significant contribution to the Volkswagen brand’s e-mobility offensive.”
“We Share” takes to the road with what is known as free-floating car sharing, ensuring the spontaneous availability of electric vehicles for customers at all times. At a later stage “We Share” will be adding smaller vehicles as micromobility solutions to its fleet of electric cars.
Philipp Reth, CEO of the Volkswagen subsidiary UMI Urban Mobility International, the Group enterprise with a start-up culture that will be managing car sharing operations from its base in Berlin, commented: “The prospects for vehicle on demand services are very good. The most conservative forecasts for Europe predict annual growth of 15%. We will continue to develop this market and make this form of mobility accessible to an even broader user group.”
Following the launch in Berlin, “We Share” is initially scheduled to roll out in further major cities in Germany. In parallel, there are plans to expand into core European markets and selected cities in North America from 2020. The primary focus will be on cities with a population of over one million.