Volkswagen Launches “We Share” With 2,000 Electric Cars In Berlin

AUG 25 2018 BY MARK KANE 6

Volkswagen announced its all-electric “We Share” car sharing

In the second quarter of next year, Volkswagen intends to start its “We Share” all-electric car sharing service in Berlin, which will be followed from 2020 in other major cities in Germany, Europe and North America.

The “We Share” will be the first service of a broader new ecosystem “Volkswagen We” aimed at non-owners.

Initially, Volkswagen will make available 1,500 e-Golfs, later adding 500 e-Up!s. After the new Volkswagen I.D. enters the market, it will gradually replace e-Golfs and e-Up!s from 2020.

The primary focus for We Share are cities with a population of over one million.

WeShare in Berlin starts in 2019 with 1,500 Volkswagen e-Golf and 500 e-Up!

“Jürgen Stackmann added: “Because of the size and density of its population, Berlin is the ideal market and has the greatest potential. Many people who have already tested car sharing live there – and the numbers keep on growing.” Volkswagen is also aiming to draw attention to the benefits of e-mobility and stimulate interest in the technology with the high-visibility fleet of 2,000 “We Share” vehicles. According to Jürgen Stackmann, “we are democratizing e-mobility. From 2020, ’We Share’ is to support the market introduction of the new generation of our new, all-electric I.D. models and thus make a significant contribution to the Volkswagen brand’s e-mobility offensive.”

“We Share” takes to the road with what is known as free-floating car sharing, ensuring the spontaneous availability of electric vehicles for customers at all times. At a later stage “We Share” will be adding smaller vehicles as micromobility solutions to its fleet of electric cars.

Philipp Reth, CEO of the Volkswagen subsidiary UMI Urban Mobility International, the Group enterprise with a start-up culture that will be managing car sharing operations from its base in Berlin, commented: “The prospects for vehicle on demand services are very good. The most conservative forecasts for Europe predict annual growth of 15 percent. We will continue to develop this market and make this form of mobility accessible to an even broader user group.”

Following the launch in Berlin, “We Share” is initially scheduled to roll out in further major cities in Germany. In parallel, there are plans to expand into core European markets and selected cities in North America from 2020. The primary focus will be on cities with a population of over one million.”

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6 Comments on "Volkswagen Launches “We Share” With 2,000 Electric Cars In Berlin"

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Good for VW! But I can’t help but wonder: considering the waiting times for the E-Golf, how did they manage to scrape together 1500 cars? Or does the one explain the other, maybe?

Also, we’ll see how this competes with Car2Go, DriveNow, Call-a-Bike and the Emmy scooters. Being all electric is obviously a huge advantage, but Car2Go has an established base and you can use it all over Europe. And they’ve even hooked up with DriveNow, although transferable usability hasn’t kicked in yet. But Berlin is already extremely well served, so it might be a hard market to break into!

They make 190 of them a day so they simply keep a weeks worth of cars.

As per the article, they will start this in the second quarter of next year. the press release is just an announcement from the announcement company, probably to have something in the headlines that distracts from the recent recall, that had the most embarrasing origin yet: 700000 VW ICE SUVs that can catch fire when exposed to light rain.
With 7-10 months to go until start-up, I’m sure that they can manage to squeeze out some e-Golf for this. They likely will use the rest of the official production run of the eGolf, before switching the production lines to the ID.

Car2Go in Berlin started with Smart EDs years ago, but they switched to combustion Smarts (and a few other Daimlers) at some point. After Multicity left with their cute little C-Zeros last year, DriveNow is presently the only service having electric cars (i3) for rent in Berlin. I’m certainly looking forward to any new entrant.

Call-a-Bike also left quite a while ago (and these were just plain old motor-less bikes) — though new bike rentals are popping up every couple of months now (including some electric ones); so that’s not really a problem…

BTW, don’t forget the Coup (Gogoro) scooters 🙂 (I think they are actually older than Emmy?)

In this case I’m happy that Berlin lost its Smart EDs: now they’re all here in Stuttgart 😉

I find it amusing that they took the photo at sunrise, probably at like 4:30 AM or so — likely not so much for the visual effect, as for a chance to get a picture with the Brandenburger Tor not crowded by hordes of tourists 🙂