Overview

Background

The Hellenic Republic is committed to attracting foreign direct investments, providing a business-friendly environment and supporting innovative and forward-looking businesses. The Hellenic Republic is also committed to promoting sustainable development, green energy and innovation as necessary parameters for the continuous improvement of social, economic and environmental conditions in the country.

The Volkswagen Group is known for making individual and affordable mobility possible for millions of people. Under the new vision “Shaping mobility-for generations to come” the Group seeks to provide answers to the challenges of today and tomorrow with its bold “TOGETHER 2025+” Group strategy. Its goal is to make mobility sustainable for current and future generations. A promise of a clean, quiet, intelligent and safe automobile through electromobility, digital networking and autonomous driving. The automobile becomes part of the solution to climate change and environmental protection. And continues to be a cornerstone of contemporary, individual and affordable mobility. one of the Group’s core values is taking on responsibility for the environment and society.

Vision

In these challenging times, both the Hellenic Republic and Volkswagen Group have committed to complying with the Paris Agreement (United Nations) to achieve CO2-neutrality. 

Consequently, the Hellenic Republic is ready to support local programmes and partnerships, by taking advantage of developments in the fields of green energy, e-vehicles, on-demand mobility and cutting-edge mobility technologies.

Objectives

The objectives of the project include replacing the existing vehicle fleet on the island with e-vehicles, introducing innovative on-demand mobility services and promoting the use of renewable energy sources. In addition, the Hellenic Republic will ensure quality road infrastructure, excellent signage and sufficient data on traffic and weather conditions to ensure safe, clean and inclusive modes of transport. This will eventually lead to testing autonomous driving.

Description

The Astypalea “Smart and Sustainable Island” project is a pioneering project centered around four pillars:

  • Vehicle electrification
  • Smart mobility
  • Charging and energy from Renewable Energy Sources
  • Autonomous driving as a future option

Astypalea, a small island in the southern Aegean, will soon become the first smart and sustainable island with energy autonomy in the Mediterranean. By 2030, the island will achieve zero-emission mobility. The Hellenic Republic-Volkswagen project aspires to create an entirely new transport system with digital mobility services, including an all-electric year-round ridesharing service designed to completely revamp the current limited local bus service.

Working with local stakeholders, Volkswagen will transform the traditional vehicle rental business into a vehicle sharing service offering e-scooters, e-bikes and electric cars. Conventionally-fueled commercial and utility vehicles on the island will be replaced: in total, roughly 1000 electric vehicles will take the place of about 1500 vehicles with internal combustion engines. At the same time, the infrastructure for more than 200 charging points will be put in place.

In parallel, the Hellenic Republic will help the island transition to complete energy autonomy through the use of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power. Astypalea possesses a significant untapped green-energy potential, making it the ideal island choice for this project. Renewable energy sources alone would cover the additional electricity demand arising from the introduction of e-mobility. Of equal importance is the commitment of the local community to achieving the sustainable development goals of the project.

In turn, the project will help improve the everyday quality of life on the island, as well as its long-term economic prospects. Greece’s natural beauty, its clean air and seas, its landscape and its biodiversity are among the country’s greatest assets. Sustainable development protecting them is essential to Greece’s long-term growth prospects.

Innovation and investment in new technologies is also central to that strategy. The project with Volkswagen is a prime example of our efforts to leverage innovative technologies to achieve sustainable and environmentally-friendly growth. It is also one of the many initiatives taken by the government to implement a national strategy based on conservation and clean energy with new regulations and technologies to protect the environment.