You Won't Have to Buy One of Volkswagen's Upcoming Electrics to Drive One

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
you wont have to buy one of volkswagens upcoming electrics to drive one

A product onslaught with a questionable sales future is on the way from Volkswagen, but Americans, as well as Europeans, won’t necessarily have to purchase one to add it to their lifestyle.

Under its “We Share” ride sharing venture, Volkswagen plans to offer up its line of I.D. electric vehicles to urbanites who don’t own a car, but still wish to use one from time to time. Users won’t have to worry about a disappearing tax credit, that’s for sure.

The service comes online in Berlin in the second quarter of 2019. Starting out, VW plans to offer 1,500 e-Golfs and 500 smaller, European-market EVs that go by the name “e-up!” (Such names always bring out the rage in us.) In 2020, models from the I.D. family join those earlier electrics in the We Share fleet, as the service expands to other cities.

Like its revenue stream-seeking rivals, VW sees big growth potential in the ride sharing market.

It’s hoped that an early, no-pressure taste of “e-mobility” (aka driving an electric car) will help familiarize the population with the vehicles and their merits. Hopping into a VW EV will be as easy as opening an app on your phone and locating an available car — after paying an undisclosed fee, of course. Down the road, it’s hoped that some of these adopters add an electric VW to their lives full-time.

“We want to motivate young, urban users to engage with e-mobility,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen’s brand board member for sales, in a statement. “The people of Berlin will be the first to enjoy the electrifying experience of our ‘We Share’ car sharing offering.”

From there, the automaker plans to roll out the service in other European and North American cities in 2020 — the year the first of the I.D. models enters showrooms. While the initial enter production at VW’s Chattanooga assembly plant. Americans see the Crozz first, in 2020, with the Buzz arriving in 2022.

Managing the ride sharing venture is UMI Urban Mobility International, a VW subsidiary. The automaker claims its North American rollout will “primarily” target cities with populations of over one million.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Aug 24, 2018

    I hear VW is working on a fusion powered model they plan to call the F-up.

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Aug 24, 2018

    Speaking of names that REALLY didn't sell: American Motors Pacer Gremlin American Motors Hornet Javelin American Motors

    • La834 La834 on Aug 24, 2018

      Those all sold well in the first few years after they were introduced only (as did the later Eagle), and the names weren't the problem. Well except for Gremlin; that's an awful name for a car, especially an unreliable one.

  • Jeff S I haven't seen one of these since the 90s. Good find.
  • William Piper Ditch the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for starters….Mitzu has probably benefited less than the other two partners and it has shackled any brand creativity moving forward.
  • Tassos I knew a woman in the area, a journalist (at least she claimed to be a reporter of some kind) who owned one of these tiny pickups with a manual transmission. SHe was only 40 at the time, but she must have been hard of hearing, because she would routinely forget to shift and we would go at fairly high speeds in very low gear, which made a huge racket, which did not seem to bother her (hence my deafness hypothesis). Either that, or she was a lousy driver. Oh well, another very forgettable, silly car from the 80s (and if my first and LAST VW, a 1975 Dasher wagon, was any indication, a very unreliable one too!)
  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.