Volkswagen enters expanding car share market.
Volkswagen launched its car sharing service WeShare in Berlin this week, with its full-electric, sustainable fleet of 1,500 e-Golf vehicles. An additional 500 e-up! vehicles will be introduced to the service at the beginning of next year, together with the first units of the new electric ID.3 in mid-2020. WeShare is a “free-floating” system without rental stations and is operated digitally through an app. The service will expand in 2020 to Prague, together with ŠKODA, and then Hamburg.
“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 & Services, today in Berlin. “With such a consistent, broad offering, we stand out from the competition. We are outstandingly well-positioned to participate in the expanding car-sharing market.”
Currently, WeShare’s service area will cover about 150 km2, in the city center and beyond the city train ring line, and will extend as the fleet expands. Upon its launch, customers benefit from a tariff of 19 cents per minute, with registration and airport fees waived. These tariffs will rise to 29 cents per minute in three categories from September onwards.
Customers would need to be 21 years old, with access to a smartphone and a credit card, must have held a driving license for at least one year, and have an address in Germany.
Supporting infrastructure for public charging has been built around Berlin, which includes the recently created charging points at 70 branched of food retailers Lidl and Kaufland as part of the partnership agreement with the Schwarz Group.
The WeShare vehicles will be collected and charged by its service employees when the battery level is low. In late operation, users will receive incentives for recharging vehicles themselves.
As car sharing continues to grow, with recent numbers indicating a rise from 180,00 people to over 2.46 million in the last nine years, Volkswagen is adding WeShare to its “Volkswagen We” ecosystem. “Volkswagen We” pools all the digital services available for people’s own cars, such as Apps We Park, We Experience, and We Deliver. Soon, the service will also incorporate “over the air” software updates and functions on demand for Volkswagen vehicles.