Greek island receives electric cars from Volkswagen

The Greek island of Astypalea has received its first electric cars from Volkswagen

in an experiment to revert the entire island to green energy.

Here's Volkwagen's Chairman Herbert Diess.

''Today we are pressing the start button to electrify this island"

The electric vehicles will be used by the police, coastguard and airport authorities

as part of an effort to replace about 1,500 cars on the 100 kilometres-squared island.

There will be subsidies for the island's 1,300 inhabitants to buy electric vehicles, bikes and chargers,

and a total of 200 electric cars will be available for locals and tourists to rent.

12 chargers have already been installed across Astypalea...

which currently meets its energy demand almost entirely by diesel generators.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis - who has made green energy a central plank of his post-lockdown recovery drive - said he hoped the experiment could be extended to surrounding islands and other parts of Greece

to support the country's goal to cut carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.

"The future can be glimpsed in some surprising, in some unexpected places: take this small rocky island in the western part of the Dodecanese archipelago, more than 2,000 kilometres from Volkswagen's high-tech plant and headquarters."

Greece has relied on coal for decades,

but aims to close all but one of its coal-fired plants by 2023.

"What we are doing here represents one small but very important cog in our collective effort to solve the world's climate emergency."

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