Strathclyde assesses the impact of the Volkswagen Group’s sustainable transport initiative on the Greek island
The University of Strathclyde will evaluate a new sustainable transport initiative led by the Volkswagen Group and the Greek government that will fully electrify traffic on a Greek island.
Two research centers in Strathclyde, the Center for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) and the Center for Energy Policy (CEP), are working with the University of the Aegean and the social enterprise Island Innovation to conduct a consultation with residents of Astypalaia Island
The study, financed by the Volkswagen Group, will assess the impact of the initiative on the lives of people in Astypalaia. A series of surveys and consultations will examine citizens’ views on e-mobility and their willingness to switch to an electric vehicle, and provide a deeper understanding of key levers and barriers to transformation.
The final results will be published and can help accelerate the switch to e-mobility in other regions.
Dr. Francesco Sindico, Project Leader and Director of SCELG, said: “The greenhouse gas emissions from traffic are one of the main drivers of climate change in the Hellenic Republic are very welcome.
“Our research, conducted with the University of Aegean and Iceland Innovation, will provide important insights into the relationship between the people of Astypalaia and the project and how it will affect their lives over the next three years. The findings from this project can also be used to inform similar traffic initiatives elsewhere. “
In an interview with VW, Dr. Sindico how important it is to have a continuous commitment to the initiative with island communities during the entire duration of the project.
The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, the Deputy Foreign Minister Costas Fragkogiannis and Island Mayor Nikos Komineas attended on the 2nd. The first vehicles are in use by the police, the airport authorities and the island community.
The sale of electric vehicles to private customers will start at the end of June, and a fully electric car sharing offer and a ride sharing offer are being planned.
The Hellenic Republic also announced its plans for the transition to green energy. The energy system will be converted to renewable energies in two phases; By 2023, a new solar park will deliver around three megawatts of green energy and thus cover 100% of the energy required to charge the electric vehicles and more than 50% of the island’s total energy requirements. The new energy system is to be expanded to over 80% of the total energy requirement by 2026. In addition, a battery storage system should help to balance the grid and fully utilize the solar park.
This will significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the island’s energy system, while reducing energy costs by at least 25 percent. The island is currently supplied with energy from diesel generators.