Greece’s Astypalaia is taking a pioneering step towards a cleaner, greener future by introducing electric vehicles to the island. Under the “Smart and Sustainable Island” program, petrol and diesel cars are being replaced by electric cars, with local residents and businesses receiving significant grants to facilitate the transition.
The project, a collaboration between the Greek government and Volkswagen, aims to make Astypalaia the first “smart” island that operates entirely on green energy. The first shipment of electric cars arrived on the island in 2022, marking a significant milestone in the plan’s implementation.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who announced the initiative in 2021, described it as a “doorway to a newer, cleaner, more sustainable world.” He emphasized the island’s role in addressing the global climate emergency and stated that the Astypalaia Project is a crucial part of the collective effort to combat climate change.
Thanos Papagiannis, a resident of Astypalaia, was one of the first recipients of an electric vehicle, receiving a Volkswagen ID.3 to replace his previous gas-powered Golf 3. Papagiannis expressed his optimism for the future, stating, “I really hope that Astypalaia will inspire other regions to increase their efforts for climate protection by adopting e-mobility solutions.”
Volkswagen is at the forefront of this project, replacing gas vehicles on the island with its electric models such as the e-up, ID.3, ID.4, and Seat Mó e-Scooter. The automaker has also introduced an electric ride-sharing program on the island, showcasing the potential of sustainable mobility.
In addition to electrifying the vehicle fleet, Volkswagen is committed to sustainable development on Astypalaia. The company, in collaboration with the local municipality and its Greek importer, Kosmocar, has initiated a recycling campaign to remove scrap vehicles from the island. This initiative aims to eliminate environmental pollution caused by abandoned motorcycles, cars, and trucks while enhancing the island’s aesthetics.
Astypalaia serves as a laboratory for the future of mobility, according to Maik Stephan, Head of Business Development at Volkswagen Group. He believes that the island’s transition to electric vehicles will inspire others to embrace e-mobility solutions. With continued support and investment, Astypalaia is poised to become a model for smart, sustainable transportation and a shining example of the positive impact of green energy usage.
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