The island of Astypalea (or Stampalia), in Greece, will become a model of sustainability within the next six years. The small pearl of the Dodecanese, already known among vacationers for being a perfect island for those seeking calm and relaxation, peace and silence, will also become the first Greek location with zero-impact mobility.
The Greek government has in fact decided to change the current transport system on the island, adopting only electric vehicles and producing renewable energy. The revolutionary decision was given by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Konstantinos Fragogiannis, who signed a memorandum of understanding with Volkswagen.
“Today we launch the first project 'Smart Green Island' in our country", Fragogiannis explained, “A project that marks a great change for our prospects. Electric transport is a holistic action plan, green and sustainable they will have a positive impact in everyday life for the inhabitants of the island. Together with a pioneering public transport system, we will turn futuristic ideas into reality. Today Greece proves that it is ready to invest in revolutionary, innovative and cutting-edge projects, which take society to another level of connection, smart sustainability and innate usability ".
The plan provides for a sharing service that includes electric cars, electric scooters and e-bikes. In total, 1.000 electric vehicles will replace around 1.500 internal combustion vehicles on the island, according to VW. Commercial and municipal vehicles will also be electrified. A network of charging stations will be installed throughout the island for a total of 230 private and publicly accessible charging points.
Astypalea represents a relatively simple test case. Its total area is about 100 square km and has a permanent population of only 1.300 people. Public transport is also limited; there are currently only two buses operating in a small area of the island.