Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen will launch a fleet of shared electric vehicles in Germany next year, with international roll-out of its car-sharing services from 2020. Expanding Volkswagen’s ‘We’ customer platform, the mobility service will focus initially on cities in Europe, North America and Asia.

Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen brand board member for sales, said at an event in Berlin that: “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.”

vw-cityskater-streetmate_small-300x200 Volkswagen I.D. Streetmate and I.D. Cityskater
Image: Volkswagen

While Volkswagen has released images of its I.D. hatchback wearing the We livery, it has also suggested that the service may offer micro-mobility solutions such as its I.D. Cityskater and I.D. Streetmate e-scooter concepts [pictured]. It will complement the existing MOIA ride-hailing and car-pooling platform, and app-based services, such as for parking and location-based vouchers, could be integrated. On-demand services on the We platform will be managed by Volkswagen’s subsidiary UMI Urban Mobility International, based in Berlin.

Groupe Renault and Groupe PSA have similar plans. Renault, in partnership with the city of Paris, plans to launch on-demand, self-service electric vehicles in Paris and the Ile-de-France from September 2018. Vehicles will be available for longer journeys in a ‘carsharing loop’ if accessed from Renault itself or partner car parks, and Renault will also add electric vehicles to its Marcel ride-hailing service. The company is working on a longer-term second-phase strategy with Parisian authorities, global cities and companies, which it describes as an ‘open working group’ to ‘think collectively about the integration of changes in mobility in the city’.

Groupe PSA’s Free2Move mobility brand, meanwhile, will launch its own car-share service in Paris in the last quarter of 2018. This will deploy 500 Peugeot and Citroen electric vehicles and the already-launched Free2Move mobility app.

Volvo has also recently announced its creation of a mobility services division, which it calls ‘M’.

-Farah Alkhalisi