Greece and the Volkswagen Group have started a pilot project for sustainable mobility and energy supply on the Aegean island of Astypalea. To that end, the transport system will transition to electric vehicles and renewable power generation. New mobility services such as vehicle sharing or ridesharing will help reduce and optimize traffic.
With the launch of the first electric cars a few days ago, the project made important progress. In addition to the first fully electric police car in Greece being in operation on Astypalea, sales of electric models to private customers also started at the end of June. These are the beginnings of a transformation that will fundamentally change Astypalea in the coming years. The long-term goal is a flagship island for sustainable mobility and green energy. In fact, a new energy system will soon be established. As an initial step, a solar field with an output of 3 megawatts will be installed by 2023. This will supply 100% of the electric cars and up to 60% of the whole island with green energy.
Testing lab for global transformation
The project is significant far beyond Greece. Astypalea can serve as a unique testing ground: The opportunities and challenges that governments around the world are confronted with as the economy and society transforms can be observed here as if in time lapse. To understand these factors better, scientists will be involved in the project. Experts from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) and the University of the Aegean (Greece) will regularly consult the people on Astypalea and gather their feedback on the changes.