Volkswagen launches electric car sharing service in Berlin

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-27 20:44:36|Editor: ZX
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BERLIN, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A car sharing service for 1,500 electric golf vehicles in the German capital was launched by Volkswagen on Thursday.

"With WeShare, we have tailored car sharing to meet the needs of users: easy to use with 100 percent electric operation on green power," said Christian Senger, Volkswagen board member for digital car and services.

Initially, WeShare will cover an area of around 150 square km in Berlin's city center and beyond the city's train ring line.

Later, the car sharing service will be extended in line with the expansion of the vehicle fleet, according to the car maker.

The initial electric golf vehicles would be followed by 500 smaller e-up! vehicles at the beginning of 2020 and Volkswagen's new ID.3 after it is introduced in mid-2020.

WeShare will be a "free-floating" system without rental stations and will be operated digitally via an app, Volkswagen announced.

Customers seeking to use Volkswagen's service will need to have a smart phone and credit card, be at least 21 years old, have held a driving license for at least one year and be registered in Germany.

The German car maker said the fleet of electric vehicles would be recharged on Berlin's public charging network, including at several food retailers like Lidl and Kaufland.

Whether Volkswagen's sharing service and app would be integrated in the wider public transport network was not yet known, a Volkswagen spokesperson told Xinhua on Thursday.

It would be "up to the city of Berlin" to decide whether or not Volkswagen's offer should be linked with other car-sharing services, added the spokesperson.

The German car maker is planning to expand its WeShare service next year, initially to Prague together with Skoda and then to Hamburg.

Recent figures from the German car sharing association (bcs) indicated that the number of Germans using car sharing services increased by 16.6 percent to a total of 2.46 million during 2018.