VW to launch car-sharing in Germany with EVs next year

FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen brand plans to start offering car-sharing services using full-electric vehicles in German cities next year as part of efforts to serve consumers who don't want to buy their own vehicles.

Its offering will compete in its home market with DriveNow and Car2Go, the soon-to-be-merged car-sharing services of BMW and Daimler, respectively.

VW said on Wednesday the new car-sharing service would be expanded to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia as early as 2020 and focus on core VW-brand cars.

VW is seeking to move on from its diesel-emissions scandal of 2015, the repercussions of which are still being felt across the German car industry, and focus on greener technologies.

In 2016 the automaker set up mobility services division Moia, which focuses on ride-hailing and car pooling and which will be complemented by the new car-sharing service.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, who took office in April, said the move was vital for VW "to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark" in areas including new mobility services, which VW wants to contribute a significant share to future group business.

Renault and PSA Group are vying to offer a car-sharing scheme in Paris to replace Autolib, the electric car-sharing service run by French tycoon Vincent Bollore's group that was recently ditched by local authorities after a dispute.

Renault announced plans on Wednesday to launch its program by September while PSA said on Tuesday that it aims to have its program running before year-end.

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