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Agean Island Astypalea Is Electrifying — Nearly At 100% EV Sales, 80% Solar Electricity By 2026

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Astypalea, an island in the Agean Sea, is electrifying. Almost 100% of new car sales are now electric car sales. Additionally, 25% of the islanders now use the electric ridesharing service ASTYBUS, which allows them to rent electric cars, electric scooters, and electric bikes.

A solar power plant will provide 100% of the necessary electricity for the island’s EVs when it goes online in 2024. I should note that this is a small island. The solar power plant will be just 3 megawatts (MW) in capacity. Nonetheless, it’s a micro example of what’s possible and a view into the future for other places.

The solar power plant will provide enough electricity for 100% of the island’s EVs, or enough generally for 60% of the island’s electricity needs. The power plant will also include battery storage. By 2026, the green energy project is supposed to expand to cover 80% of the island’s energy needs. This cleaner (and cheaper) energy system is replacing a predominantly diesel-based energy system.

Smart, sustainable island project of Astypalea. Copyright: Volkswagen AG.

“The ridesharing service ASTYBUS has replaced the traditional bus line, which had offered a very limited local transport on Astypalea. Unlike the bus line, ASTYBUS operates all year round and connects many more places on the island,” Volkswagen Group writes. “Depending on the season, up to five vehicles are used for this service. Through the vehicle sharing service astyGO, customers can rent e-cars from Volkswagen as well as e-scooters from SEAT MÓ and e-bikes from Ducati. The booking is made via smartphone via the integrated astyMOVE app. The ridesharing service has a 97% approval rating, with users especially appreciating both the flexibility and the low costs.

The island’s early electrification and green electricity leadership is in large part a project between Volkswagen Group and the Hellenic Republic. “Over the next two decades, we will see many of the changes that make up the Astypalea project in other regions of Europe as well,” said Maik Stephan, Head of Business Development for Volkswagen Group. “Particularly impressive is the people’s change in mood from initial skepticism to great approval. This shows that rapid transformation is possible if companies, politicians and society work together.” Indeed.

Researchers from the University of the Aegean (Greece) and the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) will follow and analyze the project for several years to come.

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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