German auto giant, Volkswagen Group, has signed a deal with the Greek government to replace Astypalaia's polluting cars with electric vehicles, scooters and bikes.
The pioneering pilot project which will run for six years, aims at transforming Astypalaia into the first "smart" energy and "green" island in the Mediterranean.
In total, the project will involve replacing about 1,500 combustion engine vehicles with around 1,000 electric ones. Volkswagen will install its Elli chargers across the island to provide about 230 private and several public charging points.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Astypalea can and will become a model of sustainable development, not only nationally but also at European and global level,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, adding that it will “set an example of how small communities are able to benefit from addressing old problems with new solutions."
I would like to thank Herbert Diess and the @VWGroup for choosing Astypalea for this ambitious project, and for giving Greece's growth prospects a vote of confidence. I am certain this is the beginning of a close and mutually beneficial cooperation. pic.twitter.com/NVJbEzofTY
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) November 4, 2020
“Volkswagen's decision to come to Greece for the implementation of this project constitutes a vote of confidence in Greece's growth prospects but also the seriousness of this government, its ability to put into action a complex project," the Greek PM continued.
On his part, Herbert Diess, CEO Volkswagen Group said: "Politics, business and society have a common responsibility to limit climate change. Our long-term goal is climate-neutral mobility for everyone. And with the Astypalea project we will explore how to realize that vision already today. E-mobility and smart mobility will improve the quality of life, while contributing to a carbon neutral future."