With a new carsharing service that is like GM’s Maven or Car2Go but has all-electric vehicles, Volkswagen is rolling out WeShare in Berlin. The company is debuting 1,500 Volkswagen e-Golf cars for its fleet of on-demand rentals in the European city, according to reports.
The service has a coverage area that encompasses the center of the German city and just beyond the train line that is around that area. And, since the cars are in an arrangement that is described as “free-floating,” they can be picked up and parked wherever there is public parking. Even so, the model can be a bit more challenging for operators: They have to concern themselves with ensuring that the vehicles stay within the rental zone and are parked in locations that are legal as well as appropriate.
At the same time, it was noted that the carsharing service would take on the responsibility to charge the electric cars when it is time to do so through the public charging network in the city. However, it was reported that “later on it will seek to incentive actual users of the system to charge up when vehicles need it.”
In separate news, carsharing leader Getaround recently announced that it is growing its international footprint with its $12 million Nabobil acquisition. Nabobil, which was started in 2015, has built a strong Norwegian user base. The acquisition is said to improve the user experience in the Nordic region through the integration of Getaround’s connected car technology and boost growth.
Nabobil CEO Even Heggernes said in a press release this week, “This is an exciting moment for our company, made possible by the incredible work of our founders and team.” Heggernes continued, “Joining Getaround, the world’s leading carsharing platform, gives us the power to invest in keyless, connected car hardware and grow the Nordic organization.”