The Volkswagen Group doesn't simply want to electrify its portfolio of brands and cars for personal ownership, it also wants to provide sustainable transportation in other ways. Its first step? Ridesharing.
This week, the automaker's newly minted MOIA mobility unit revealed its first vehicle designed specifically for offering rides. It's a van with an electric powertrain and seating for six passengers, and it was revealed on Monday ahead of an official debut at this week's TechCrunch 2017 in Berlin, Germany.
MOIA envisions a ride-sharing community where users book and pay for a ride within a mobile app, while an algorithm groups riders onto one vehicle for maximum efficiency. The unit's ultimate goal is to provide relief from traffic congestion in major cities and hopes it can take one million cars off of the road in the United States and Europe by 2025.
Volkswagen MOIA electric ride-pooling vanEnlarge Photo
It's not a shuttle bus, though. The MOIA concept features individual seats with plentiful legroom and enough space to retain riders' personal bubbles. Each passenger will also find a USB port and onboard Wi-Fi for their pleasure.
As for the powertrain, MOIA didn't divulge its motors or battery capacity, but it did say the concept will go 300 kilometers (186 miles) on a single charge, per Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure standards. The vehicle's battery pack can also be charged to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. VW Group and MOIA are particularly proud of the fact the vehicle went from idea to concept in just 10 months. And it will hit the streets even sooner.
MOIA will deploy the vehicles first in Hamburg, Germany, in late 2018. This is just the first step towards MOIA's long-term goal to provide a sustainable alternative to networks such as Uber or Lyft.