WeShare, Volkswagen and ŠKODA’s free-floating car sharing service, is to expand into seven further cities in Germany and other European countries in 2020. Prague and Hamburg in the spring are to be followed by Paris, Madrid, Budapest, Munich and Milan in the course of the year. In all these cities, WeShare will be offering an all-electric fleet with a total of about 8,400 electric vehicles. In Prague and Budapest, WeShare will cooperate with ŠKODA. In the other major cities in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, WeShare vehicles on offer will include Volkswagen’s e-Golf1 and e-up!2 as well as the ID.33 from the end of the year. WeShare already started operations in Berlin with 1,500 e-Golf cars in 2019 and the company now has 50,000 registered customers in the city.
“For us, 2020 will be a year of dramatic growth,” says Philipp Reth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WeShare. “We are convinced that all-electric free-floating car sharing will be a significant, scalable transitional element in the field of sustainable, shared mobility for a considerable time on the way to automated transport systems,” Reth adds. In his opinion, the objective must be to make a breakthrough with the wider public together with the cities. “We therefore hope that will receive support from the cities for example in the area of parking charges for car sharing vehicles or the designation of new car sharing areas in public spaces with a view to providing incentives for potential users and making car sharing even more interesting and relevant,” says Reth.
WeShare gets off to a successful start in Berlin
In Berlin, where WeShare was launched in June 2019, about 50,000 customers are now registered for the service. About three-quarters of these registered customers are active users, i.e. they have used the WeShare service at least once. “In comparison with the sector as a whole, this figure is very high and shows that WeShare is highly relevant for people’s urban mobility,” CEO Philipp Reth comments. Over the past six months, the WeShare fleet in Berlin has completed more than three million kilometers, which corresponds to an average of four to five trips per car and day.
One of the major challenges faced by WeShare in Berlin is battery charging. To compensate for the inadequate availability of public charging infrastructure, Volkswagen AG and WeShare have therefore started cooperation with the Schwarz Group. Schwarz is currently installing a total of 140 public charging stations at 60 Lidl and 10 Kaufland locations in Berlin. As a cooperation partner, WeShare can use the charging stations for its car sharing fleet on an exclusive basis outside the opening hours of the stores. During opening hours in the daytime, the charging stations are available to all customers of Lidl and Kaufland. In addition to the Schwarz Group, WeShare plans to establish further partnerships with a view to expanding the available infrastructure.