From Smyrna to … Astypalea: An investment that was lost for Turkey and came to Greece



An end and a beginning. Two places, a strategic choice for the future. On one side of the Aegean, in the once multicultural Izmir, a car factory will never be operational – after all, it did not even manage to be built. Stay in the plans… In the middle of the Aegean, an island with so many permanent residents and tens of thousands of tourists every summer – Astypalea – is the answer to the final cancellation of the investment of the German car industry Volkswagen, which brings with it the end and the beginning of a seasonal. An era where the production of a car takes second place and smart mobility comes to the fore and the cleanest and greenest accompanies it. On the Volkswagen site I read: “The Volkswagen Group and the Hellenic Republic will create a pioneering mobility system in Astypalea. To this end, the current transport system on the island will be replaced by the use of electric vehicles and the production of renewable energy. In the long run, Astypalea will become a model island for climate-neutral mobility (…). New mobility services, such as vehicle sharing or sharing, will help reduce and optimize traffic. The energy will be produced mainly from local green energy sources, such as solar and wind. The project will initially take six years. ”Astypalea is no longer an island in the map of the strategic choices of the European car industry – it is not an exception -, it is the new reality, the new culture of movement, where its main and basic element is simply the sale of a (still) car but the provision of a comprehensive package of citizens’ transportation services. The decision But, let’s put things in order. Last July, the media – traditional and new, print and electronic – made headlines from Bloomberg – the news about Volkswagen and its plans to build a plant in Turkey. The German group – according to the agency – has permanently withdrawn its interest in the investment. The factory, according to the initial plans, would be built in the area of ​​Smyrna, creating about 4,000 jobs. Read also: Costas Frangogiannis: “Investment in Astypalea marks a change of course” – especially in Europe – to continue in the footsteps of a model of large productive investments that all show that it has “eaten its bread”. With the current demand, the existing units are more than enough. After all, Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Group, on the occasion of the Astypalea project has stated: “Our long-term goal is 100% climate-neutral mobility for all. And the Astypalea Project will show that this is already possible today. “Electromobility and smart mobility will improve the quality of life, while contributing to a future climate-neutral carbon.” The choice At this point a note: The choice of a Greek island in the middle of the Archipelago is anything but random. Our country has some very strong papers as comparative elements in the international competition. On the one hand, sun and air in oversupply and on the other, “minds”! In short, the inexhaustible pool of Renewable Energy and the gifted human resources (researchers, scientists, startupers) are, without a doubt, our treasure for a new model of smart, green and clean sustainable development. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking during the (online) signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation of the Hellenic Republic with the Volkswagen Group had referred to 3 + 1 pillars for the ongoing project: – The first is smart mobility. Conventional buses will be replaced by electric vehicles, which will operate as needed, ie flexibly throughout the island. They will also combine new, smart services: Shared transport, custom vehicles and micro-mobility service. – The second pillar – which is the most radical – is the plan to replace all conventional vehicles with electric internal combustion engines. Both private and public. – The third pillar is the creation of the necessary infrastructure. Smart mobility does not simply mean replacing conventional vehicles with smart vehicles. The software is also required for the interface and of course the charging stations are required. And behind all this, there is also the autonomous driver program. We should try new systems in a relatively controlled environment – not so big but not too small… PRINTED NEWS Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest News from Greece and the World, at



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