Volkswagen to offer all-electric car-sharing from 2019

Volkswagen plans to eventually use its next-generation I.D. range of cars in its Berlin all-electric car-sharing scheme.It prese
Volkswagen plans to eventually use its next-generation I.D. range of cars in its Berlin all-electric car-sharing scheme. It presented this I.D. Concept car at the Frankfurt auto show last year

German auto giant Volkswagen said Thursday it would launch an all-electric car-sharing service in Berlin next year, hoping to show off new models and break into a fast-growing market.

Set to begin in the second quarter of 2019, the service known as "We Share" will at first offer 1,500 VW e-Golf compact cars in the capital, with a further 500 smaller e-up! vehicles to be added later.

The cars will gradually be replaced as new models from VW's next-generation "I.D." range become available.

We Share will join other "free floating" car-sharing services—in which autos are left parked around the city for users to book via a mobile phone app—already long present in Berlin and other major cities around the world.

Executives at the world's biggest carmaker see growth potential of at least 15 percent per year for such offerings in Europe, and plan to expand to other large cities across Germany, Europe, the United States and Canada from 2020.

But Wolfsburg-based VW faces entrenched competition from the likes of Daimler and BMW, who agreed in March to merge their car-sharing apps Car2Go and DriveNow.

The two high-end manufacturers aim ultimately to offer a suite of "mobility services" from car-sharing to taxi hailing or finding free parking spaces and electric car charging points, aiming to compete with challengers like California-based Uber.

Combined, Car2Go and DriveNow already offer 20,000 vehicles for short-term rental in some 31 cities, with four million registered users.

VW also has big plans for integrating different forms of transport, with initiatives like electric buses that can be hailed to "virtual stops", currently being tested in German port city Hamburg.

It plans to spend 3.5 billion euros ($4 billion) by 2025 on a suite of projects under its so-called "digital offensive".

Explore further

Volkswagen says may have to recall 124,000 electric cars

© 2018 AFP

Citation: Volkswagen to offer all-electric car-sharing from 2019 (2018, August 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Aug 23, 2018
This is just pathetic.
VW missed the train and all they have been doing over the past few years is make Trumpian announcements about becoming world leader in e-mobility...and what do they have? The crappy e-Golf and nothing in the pipeline save for a bunch of prototypes that are already severely behind what others have on the market before the first of them comes off the line.

The german auto industry has fought tooth, nail and claw against EVs all the way, and now that it's too late they are this close to begging for tax cuts and subsidies.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more