The transition from internal-combustion engines to electric vehicles will take decades. Even if automakers overnight switched to building more EVs than gasoline-powered vehicles, the petrol-powered legacy will survive for years. It certainly seems that the only way to make the transportation system substantially greener is to switch out the gas cars for electric ones, and that’s what Volkswagen and Greece are doing with the island of Astypalea.
The German automaker and the Greek government have come to an agreement to make Astypalea a “smart green island.” The plan is to transition the current transportation to EVs and mobility services and implement renewable power generation. The plan includes replacing 1500 gas-powered vehicles with 1000 EVs, installing charging stations, bringing in e-scooters and e-bikes, and replacing the current bus system with ride-sharing and car-sharing solutions.
In addition to private vehicles, police, emergency services, and fleet vehicles will transition to EVs. The energy needed to power all of this for the 38.6-square-mile Mediterranean island will be provided by local solar and wind energy.
While the island itself has only approximately 1300 residents, it’s visited by 72,000 tourists each year. VW and Greece haven’t named a date when this transition will take place, but the project is expected to run for six years.