WeShare, the car-sharing service from Volkswagen and Škoda, will expand to seven more cities in Germany and other European countries in 2020. Following Prague and Hamburg in the spring, WeShare will also be launched in Paris, Madrid, Budapest, Munich and Milan in the course of the year.
WeShare will offer a fleet of around 8,400 electric cars in all cities. In Prague and Budapest, WeShare will cooperate with Škoda. In the other metropolises in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the e-up and, at the end of the year, the ID.3 will be used in addition to the e-Golf.
WeShare was already launched in Berlin in 2019 with 1,500 e-Golf. This was followed at the end of last year by the announcement of plans to expand to Hamburg in spring 2020. A fleet of over 1,000 e-Cars of the models e-Golf and e-Up is planned for the start in northern German port city. As in Berlin, later in the year, the first copies of the ID.3 will be added to fleets. Volkswagen is currently leaving open how the remaining vehicles will be distributed among the individual cities.
“For us, 2020 is a year of strong growth,” says Philipp Reth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WeShare. “The goal must now be to work together with the cities to help car-sharing achieve a breakthrough across the population. We would therefore like the cities to make concessions, for example in the area of parking fees for car-sharing vehicles or in the designation of new car-sharing areas in public spaces, in order to create positive incentives for potential users and make car sharing even more interesting and relevant,” says Reth.
Around 50,000 customers have now registered in Berlin. Around three-quarters of the registered customers are active users, i.e. they have used the WeShare service at least once. Over the past six months, WeShare vehicles in Berlin have covered more than three million fully electric kilometres, which translates into an average of four to five trips per vehicle per day.
Meanwhile, one of the main challenges for WeShare in Berlin is still charging the vehicles. The Schwarz Group is currently building a total of 140 public charging points at 60 Lidl and ten Kaufland locations in the capital. As a cooperation partner, WeShare will be able to use the charging points for its car-sharing fleet outside opening hours exclusively overnight. During daytime opening hours, the charging points are available to all Lidl and Kaufland customers. In addition to the Schwarz Group, WeShare is seeking further partnerships to expand the usable charging infrastructure.
“In order to compensate for the insufficient supply of public charging infrastructure, Volkswagen AG and WeShare have therefore also entered into a partnership with the Schwarz Group,” the press release states. Even before the start of the car-sharing service, it was unclear how the vehicles would be charged in the German capital. Time and again, our editors receive hints that the car-sharing vehicles block public charging stations. It remains to be seen whether the additional charging infrastructure at the supermarkets will provide relief. It is also unclear how WeShare intends to recharge its own vehicles in other European cities.
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