Volkswagen and Schwarz Become E-Partners

Volkswagen and Schwarz Become E-Partners
Volkswagen will have exclusive rights to 140 public charging stations at Lidl and Kaufland supermarkets, outside hours of operation. (Photo: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen partners with Lidl and Kaufland supermarket chains, which are owned by Schwarz Group.

Shortly before the market launch of its full-electric car sharing service WeShare in Berlin at the end of June, Volkswagen is teaming up with Lidl and Kaufland supermarket chains, who will be installing 140 public charging stations for customers at their German capital branches. Volkswagen will receive exclusive rights to use the new infrastructure for charging its WeShare fleet overnight outside opening hours 0 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., making the utilization of the charging stations more efficient and boosting the additional charging points in the German capital by almost 20%.

Christian Senger, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Digital Car and Services, says: “Supermarkets are the filling stations of the future. Charging while you shop is an ideal solution. On average, just 45 minutes at a fast charging station are sufficient for an e-Golf. Together with Lidl and Kaufland, we are improving charging possibilities for customers and especially for our WeShare fleet. This is the next consistent step by Volkswagen in its efforts to provide area-wide coverage with charging points in public spaces via partnership arrangements.”

“We want to shape urban mobility. With our many locations on major traffic nodes in Berlin, we can develop a city-wide network of charging stations. During the daytime, our customers will benefit from the growing number of charging points and we will make a meaningful contribution to the mobility transition in Germany,” adds Wolf Tiedemann, Head of Central Services, Lidl Deutschland.

Jörg Dahlke, Head of International Construction with Kaufland states: “Car sharing with electric vehicles definitely needs to be supported. This is why we are very pleased to make our existing charging stations available to the WeShare fleet outside our opening hours. This way, more people will benefit from this environmentally compatible technology. This is entirely in line with our own e-mobility strategy.”

This charging strategy is based on the assumption that around 50% of charging operations for electric vehicles will be done at home in the future, with 20% at the place of work, 5% along highways and no less than 25% in public spaces. Volkswagen is already equipping homes and workplaces with charging systems through its subsidiary Elli and is working on developing a fast charging network on major European highways under the IONITY umbrella.

Currently, there are plans for 70 fast charging stations to be installed in three phases up to 2020 in Berlin, with a power rating of 50 kW, and the ability to charge two vehicles simultaneously – one at a fast charging point and one at a normal charging point.

The WeShare will officially enter the market at the end of the month as a full-electric car-sharing service. The fleet will be made up of 1,500 e-Golf vehicles and will be joined by 500 e-up! Units at the beginning of 2020, and the ID.3 by mid-2020. While WeShare will start in Berlin, there are already plans to roll-out to other cities in Germany and other countries.

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