Volkswagen launches urban e-car sharing service

Volkswagen is entering the growing car sharing sector with a fleet of 1,500 e-Golf vehicles in Berlin. WeShare will later expand to Prague and to Hamburg.

German automaker Volkswagen announced that it launched its WeShare electric car sharing service in Berlin last week. For now, the service consists of 1,500 e-Golf vehicles, but they will be followed by 500 additional e-up! vehicles at the beginning of 2019 and the first units of its new full-electric ID.3 when it is launched in mid-2020.

The service will initially cover about 150 square kilometres in the Berlin city centre and beyond the city train ring line but will be extended as the fleet expands. WeShare will later be expanded to Prague, together with Czech automaker ŠKODA, and then to Hamburg in 2020.

WeShare will recharge its fleet on the public charging network in Berlin, including newly created charging points at 70 branches of food retailers Lidl and Kaufland. For now, the vehicle will be collected and charged by WeShare service employees when the battery level is low, but later on users will receive incentives for recharging the vehicles themselves.

According to Volkswagen, WeShare is a ‘free-floating’ system without rental stations, and it is operated digitally via an app. The company is currently offering a special launch rate of 19 cents per minute; from September onwards, tariffs will be offered in three categories at an average price per minute of 29 cents.

“With WeShare, we have tailored car sharing to meet the needs of users: easy to use with 100 per cent electric operation on green power,” said Christian Senger, Volkswagen Board Member for Digital Car & Services. “With such a consistent, broad offering, we stand out from the competition. We are outstandingly well-positioned to participate in the expanding car sharing market.”

Image credit: Volkswagen

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