The VW subsidiary MOIA has started their final tests with ten electric shuttles in Hamburg, Germany. The fully electric vehicle is based on a VW van with a range of 300 km and is destined for affordable ride-sharing. A 100 strong fleet is to take to the streets of Hamburg this April with quick expansion to follow.
Volkswagen had presented the MOIA electric van for the first time at the end of 2017. Back then they stated the uplifting goal of freeing major cities in Europe and the States from up to one million vehicles by 2025.
EV hotbed Hamburg is now making the start. The public operation of services should start with a fleet of 100 black and yellow electric vehicles this April before the fleet will be gradually expanded to 500 vehicles within twelve months. In a later expansion stage, MOIA plans to increase the EV fleet to no less than a 1,000 units. The number of MOIA employees will then increase into the thousands.
For this latest and last test operation that will last several months, MOIA says it is still conducting technical tests and is training several hundred drivers. The basic idea of the new mobility offer is classic ride-sharing in that passengers with similar destinations will be grouped together. The MOIA vehicles are called to virtual stops via an app. Prices for the service should apparently be between the amount customers would pay for public transport and taxis.
Clearly, MOIA’s mobility offer is aimed at the interface between public transport and private vehicles. Hamburg officially approved the operation in April 2018 as a joint project of MOIA and Hamburger Hochbahn, the cities public transit provider. For CEO Ole Harms, Hamburg is a global beacon project: “Here we optimize our ride-sharing for perfect service, efficient operation and the greatest possible traffic-relief effect before we carry it out into the world.” The ride-sharing service is intended to supplement public transport in the coastal city with electric vehicles as an alternative to private car use.
MOIA COO Robert Henrich explains: “Since the beginning of 2017, our team in the Hanseatic city has been working on implementing Europe’s largest all-electric ride-sharing project. During these two years, we worked out the customer experience, developed the software, and also created the operational requirements. These include, for example, the search for drivers and the construction of operating yards and charging stations.”
Testing in Hamburg has been running since October 2017, first with 20 Volkswagen T6 Multivan models. MOIA electric vans can also be found in Berlin and Helsinki and sit up to six people.