The Volkswagen Group has named its new thirteenth brand Moia. The newly formed company will focus on the emerging market for mobility on demand, which Volkswagen is developing as a second pillar to its business alongside the traditional car sales model.
Moia will begin by offering ride-hailing in the short term before moving into car pooling and shuttle services using its own purpose-built battery electric vehicles that will, in time, most likely be self-driving.
This new special-purpose vehicle, or SPV, will be built by one of Moia’s sister passenger vehicle companies in the group and feature the badges of both firms. It is likely to be unveiled in a early form next year.
Moia aims to provide mobility for everyone at affordable prices without having to own their own car. Harms said the aim was to “democratise mobility, which means that we want to operate at a price level that’s comparable with other transport systems”. The idea is that you can summon or book a vehicle via an app on your smartphone.
The second major area of Moia’s business is to set up its own on-demand pooling shuttle services from homes to city centres that are co-ordinated via an app.
Also known as connected commuting, the aim is to optimise the use of the existing road infrastructure by cutting down the number of vehicles travelling between the same points. Moia’s first vehicle pooling pilot projects are scheduled to begin in two European cities in late 2017.
The new company will focus its initial activities in Germany. It is based in Berlin, but will also work in Hamburg; Volkswagen Group recently struck a three-year strategic mobility partnership with the city to make urban mobility more environmentally friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient.
If that is successful, Hamburg will act as a blueprint for Moia’s activities in other European cities in the future.