MOIA, the ridesharing service of the Volkswagen Group, officially launched its shuttle-on-demand service with environmentally friendly electric cars in the city of Hamburg, Germany.
The service with 100 fully electric MOIA vehicles is intended to close the gap between local public transport and taxis.
“It is the first city in which we are putting our innovative offer for environmentally friendly, shared mobility on the road,” says CEO Ole Harms. “This is where we develop and optimize our system, which we want to expand further in the world from Hamburg”.
This how it works: Customers can book the service via a smartphone app. They simply enter their location and destination and the MOIA vehicle arrives at a virtual stop no more than 250 meters away. The app navigates the customer directly to where the vehicle will stop and the service will likely cost less than a taxi. “An average ride will cost between 6 and 7 euros per person,” says Harms.
The concept is based on the principle of ride pooling, where you share your journey with other customers travelling in a similar direction. An algorithm collates the journey requests, ensuring that the vehicles are used to optimum capacity and that customers do not have to wait for other passengers. The goal is to get more and more individual travelers to leave their vehicles behind and switch to MOIA.
The custom-made MOIA electric vehicles have room for six people and a range-between-charges of around 300 kilometers (186 miles), measured according to WLTP. Their empty battery can be charged to up to 80 percent capacity in about 30 minutes – providing the necessary level of everyday practicality. Meanwhile, in Hanover, MOIA’s shared taxis have been in operation for some time now. The test phase involving 35 Volkswagen Multivan T6 vehicles was successfully completed in July 2018 and since then anyone in Hanover can request a MOIA.
Cars in metropolitan areas are unused around 23 hours a day
Studies have shown that in big cities like Hamburg, private cars stand idle for more than 95 percent of the time on average (around 23 hours a day). Ride-pooling services offer an alternative which makes customers less reliant on their own cars. Pooling individual journeys makes more efficient use of the streets – not least because the downtown parking situation is eased, with fewer drivers searching for a parking slot. And if the shuttle vehicles are electric – as is the case in Hamburg – the environment also benefits from zero local emissions and very quiet running.