Volkswagen continues to push into new forms of online controlled personal transport services by launching their all electric minibus to target urban consumers who prefer to pay for use rather than own a car. The company’s new MOIA “mobility services” division announced procedures for a fully electric international ride pooling service that is to remove 1 million cars from U.S. and European cities by 2025. Next year, MOIA plans to introduce 200 of the buses in Hamburg, Germany by offering passengers fast internet access as well as USB ports to charge devices such as phones and tablet computers.
Hamburg’s electric bus fleet will expand to 1,000 units within 3 years and target other cities by 2019. This ride pooling plan is aimed to help reduce urban congestion at prices that are cheaper than taxi rides. Ride hailing services and the idea of driverless vehicles has been rising and encourages consumers to switch to paying for individual rides rather than purchasing their own cars. The new electric bus will run for about 186 miles on a single battery and would require 30 minutes to recharge to 80% of full capacity.
“We will return the cities to the people,” MOIA Chief Executive Ole Harms said, adding the ride-pooling plans will help to significantly reduce urban congestion at prices which are cheaper than taxi rides.