In November of 2020, Volkswagen announced that it would work with Greece to turn the island of Astypalea into an EV paradise. Now it has taken the next step in that mission by delivering its first customer EVs to the island.
The first vehicle, a turquoise ID.3 Pure, was handed over to its new owner, Thanos Papagiannis, at the windmills of Chora, the main town of Astypalea. Thanks to his new electric hatchback, he can get rid of his current car, an Mk3 Golf.
“E-mobility is a perfect match for Astypalea. The distances here are short, the power consumption is low, and the charging network is now very well developed,” said Papagiannis. “I really hope that Astypalea will inspire other regions to increase their efforts for climate protection adopting e-mobility solutions.”
The Volkswagen Group also delivered a range of other vehicles, including the ID.4, the e-up!, and the Seat MÓ eScooter 125. These follow the electric vehicles that officials on Astypalea have been using since 2021.
As for Papagiannis’ Mk3 Golf, it and a range of other used and scrap vehicles that have littered the island will be removed by Volkswagen, its Greek importer, Kosmocar, and the Municipality to be properly recycled on the mainland.
“Astypalea is a laboratory for the mobility of the future. The island is experiencing the same change as any other region in Europe, only in a much shorter time,” said Maik Stephan, head of business development for the Volkswagen Group. “With the first private customers driving electric now, word will quickly get around how fascinating e-mobility is.”
In addition to swapping the island’s fleet of vehicles to electric propulsion, the Volkswagen Group said it would install around 230 private and public charging stations and establish the infrastructure necessary to power them all.
Starting this summer, VW will also work to launch all-electric mobility services with local partners to create ride-sharing and car-sharing services whose aim is to improve mobility while reducing the number of vehicles on the island.