Ridepooling: Volkswagen opens Moia brand to third parties

Volkswagen is making its electric ridepooling service Moia accessible to other providers via a licensing model. According to Moia, clients remain flexible in their choice of vehicles - and are therefore not restricted to Volkswagen models.

Moia was founded in 2016 as an independent company under the umbrella of the Volkswagen Group and is currently active in the German cities of Hamburg and Hanover with its electric fleets. In the future, the Volkswagen subsidiary also wants to offer cities, transport companies and municipal authorities all services from a single source to “realise ridepooling within the framework of public transport,” as it says in an accompanying press release. In other words, Moia opens itself up to third parties through a licencing model.

CleverShuttle already set a similar focus a few years ago. As of May 2023, the ridepooling service operates 21 on-demand services in more than 45 German municipalities. Before the Corona pandemic, CleverShuttle operated privately under its brand but withdrew during the lockdowns. However, CleverShuttle filed for insolvency in May after Deutsche Bahn withdrew as an investor. Nevertheless, operations continue for the time being.

But back to Moia: Its new licensing model includes design and consulting, operating models, the ridepooling and operating software and, if necessary, the use of the Moia brand. The company says this solution can be adapted to the specific needs and requirements of cities and transport companies. And local operators remain flexible in their choice of vehicles, Moia says. This probably means they do not have to resort to the VW electric vans that Moia uses.

Moia says the licensing model and establishment of a new business field called ‘Mobility Analytics’ will “expand” its revenue model. The step is obvious from the company’s point of view because “Moia looks back on many years of experience in the development of ridepooling and the operation of large fleets in Hamburg and Hanover.”

Sascha Meyer, CEO of MOIA, emphasises that the need for flexible, efficient and sustainable on-demand mobility for urban areas is constantly growing. “With the licensing model, we enable our partners to quickly and seamlessly integrate a turnkey ridepooling solution into the existing transport system,” he says. According to Meyer, the offer includes all the components to set up an efficient ridepooling service that complements public transport and is adaptable to people’s needs and the requirements of cities.

“We don’t just offer a software solution, but know-how and a deep understanding of ridepooling processes. We accompany our customers from the data-based service conception to the consulting during implementation and the ongoing optimisation of the service in operation,” says Meyer.

The newly created ‘Mobility Analytics’ unit will combine Moia’s expertise in mobility research and consulting and focus on data-driven analyses and simulations of ridepooling operational concepts. “These can be part of the Moia licence or commissioned as a separate consultancy service,” the Volkswagen subsidiary writes. The first projects in Munich and Styria in southeast Austria have been successfully implemented.

Moia currently has locations in Berlin and Hamburg. The company has been offering its ridepooling service in Hanover since the summer of 2018 and in Hamburg since spring of 2019. With Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Moia is also developing and testing autonomous ridepooling in Hamburg in a pilot project. The initiators’ goal is to create an autonomous, internationally scalable ridepooling system and put it on the road in Hamburg after 2025.



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