One of the most exciting electric vehicle announcements of the past few years for me was Volkswagen Group’s MOIA launch. Word on the street is that MOIA, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, is finishing up tests of 10 of MOIA’s electric shuttles in Hamburg, Germany. After that is done, a fleet of 100 is supposed to launch in Hamburg in April.
Within 12 months of launch, 500 of the vehicles are supposed to be on the road. “At a later stage, MOIA plans to increase the fleet to 1000 vehicles,” MOIA writes. I presume the timing of that later stage depends on how the earlier stages go.
The most exciting thing about MOIA is that it’s eventually supposed to be using driverless technology. I’m not keen to see drivers lose their jobs (and I think we will need Universal Basic Income at some point, imho), but the positive side of this is that transport costs in these shuttle vehicles will drop, which means they will entice many people out of their cars, and since the MOIA vehicles are electric, that will result in a huge cut in emissions — which we need.
However, for the time being, MOIA is hiring drivers — hundreds of them. As the system expands, MOIA expects the number to grow into the thousands.
“Innovation is crucial in making mobility in Hamburg quieter, safer and more environmentally friendly,” said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation in Hamburg. “Ridesharing services close the gap between taxis and local public transport. Ridesharing reduces individual trips and relieves urban traffic overall. We are going to host the ITS World Congress in 2021 and want to use this opportunity to advance the digitization and efficiency of our roads.”
As much as I’m excited about car owners switching to electric cars, I’m more excited about the potential to reduce emissions by offering fully electric transport that pulls people out of 4 year old, 5 year old, and 10+ year old vehicles. As is obvious, the biggest change is when you rope in the masses. The question with the electric revolution is how to do that quickest. MOIA seems like an important part of the global web of solutions.
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