Greece launches experiment on Europe’s ‘Green Island’

By Sarantis Michalopoulos 
Jun 2, 2021

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce on Wednesday (2 June) the details of a project which aims to transform the island of Astypalaia in the southeastern Aegean Sea into Europe’s “Green Island”.

The objective is to have all of Astypalaia’s daily activities run on renewable energy, from electricity to transport.

Of the 1,500 cars currently on the island, 1,000 will be replaced immediately with electric cars, with the first six dual charging stations for electric cars already having been installed. The government will provide grants to locals to switch to electric cars and bicycles.

By 2026, the government also wants all buses on the island to be driverless. In order for this to happen, however, the island’s infrastructure must be changed and be fully supported by 5G technology.

Moreover, the project provides the creation of a hybrid power station using renewable energy, a wind turbine, a photovoltaic park and storage batteries that will provide electricity 24 hours a day.

German carmaker Volkswagen has played a leading role in the project and has already donated four electric vehicles to local police, coast guard, the Civil Aviation Service and the municipality of Astypalaia.

Greece was among the EU member states which did not seek remunerations for the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, known as Dieselgate, as according to the current New Democracy government, the national law did not have a provision to do so.

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