Volkswagen is doubling down on an environmentally responsible future with the launch of a new car-sharing service that will exclusively utilize electric vehicles. The new program, called WE, will launch first in Germany in 2019, and then will expand to international markets the following year, with presences in major cities across Europe, North America, and Asia. The all-EV fleet will not only be eco-friendly in its lack of traditional combustion engines, but will also lead to fewer cars being on the road by giving drivers micro-mobility solutions and the option to share cars.
“We are convinced that the car-sharing market still has potential. That is why we are entering this market with a holistic single-source concept covering all mobility needs from the short journey that takes just a few minutes to the long vacation trip,” Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen’s board member for sales, explained in a news release. “Our vehicle-on-demand fleets will consist entirely of electric cars, and will therefore provide zero-emission, sustainable mobility. That is an intelligent way to relieve the strain on urban areas.”
In the future, the on-demand car-sharing network from WE hopes it will be able to help in services like parking apps or carpooling services, Volkswagen noted. All of WE’s initiatives will be managed by UMI Urban Mobility International GmbH, Berlin, which is a subsidiary of the carmaker. As UMI CEO Philip Reth commented, “Our customers expect an environmentally friendly fleet that takes them to their destination quickly and at a fair price – and that is exactly the experience we will be delivering.”
Eventually, WE could also offer up other transportation methods, including electric scooters, which appear to be gaining in popularity with platforms like LimeBike and Bird. Back in March, Volkswagen debuted two electric concepts, one called the Streetmate and another known as the Cityskater, both of which are heralded as “last-mile electric street surfers.” While it’s not entirely clear when we can expect to see those solutions on the road as part of WE, it seems as though Volkswagen is streamlining its vision for a less fossil fuel-dependent transportation system. And that’s certainly something that we can all get behind.
- Inside Volkswagen’s plan to finally bring affordable electric cars to the masses
- All-electric commercial seaplane takes to the air for the first time
- What I saw at the LA Auto Show gives me hope for humanity
- Lyft’s self-driving car-testing program is racking up the miles
- Denver residents now have more opportunities to hail an electric Lyft ride