Volkswagen delivers electric cars to make the Greek island green
Volkswagen delivered eight electric cars to Astypalea on Wednesday to make traffic on the Greek island green.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who made green energy a central element of Greece’s recovery offensive after the pandemic, attended the handover ceremony together with Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess.
“Astypalea will be a test field for the green turnaround: energy self-sufficient and completely powered by nature,” said Mitsotakis.
The cars will be used by the police, coast guards and at the local airport, the start of a larger fleet aimed at replacing around 1,500 internal combustion engine cars with electric models and reducing the number of vehicles in the popular island tourist destination by a third.
The island’s bus transport will be replaced by carpooling, 200 electric cars will be available to rent to locals and tourists, while the island’s 1,300 residents will receive grants to buy electric vehicles, bicycles and chargers.
12 chargers have already been installed across the island and 16 more will follow.
Financial terms of the deal with Volkswagen were not disclosed.
Astypalea, which extends over 100 square kilometers in the Aegean Sea, currently covers its energy needs almost exclusively with diesel generators, but is to replace a large part of it with a solar system by 2023.
“Astypalea can become a blueprint for rapid change, fueled by close collaboration between governments and businesses,” said Diess.
Greece, which has relied on coal for decades, plans to close all but one coal-fired power plants by 2023 in order to promote renewable energies and reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030.
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