Volkswagen is launching its WeShare car sharing system in Berlin today.
The 1,500 e-Golf electric vehicles will be operated on 'green' power, the automaker claimed.
Five hundred additional e-up EVs follow at the beginning of 2020 and then the first ID.3s when introduced in mid-2020.
WeShare is a so called free-floating system without rental stations and is operated digitally via an app. An expansion of the scheme, initially to Prague, Czech Republic, in conjunction with Skoda, and then to Hamburg, Germany, is planned for 2020.
"We have tailored car sharing to meet the needs of users: easy to use with 100% electric operation on green power," said Christian Senger, the automaker's head of digital car & services.
Initially, the service will cover about 150 square kilometres in the Berlin city centre and beyond the city train ring line. Later, it will be extended as the fleet expand. Launch tariff is 19 (euro) cents per minute while registration and airport fees will be waived.
From September, three tariffs will be offered at an average 29 cents per minute.
Customers will need to have a smart phone and credit card, be at least 21 years old, have held a driving licence for at least one year and be registered at an address in Germany.
WeShare will recharge the fleet using the Berlin public charging network including newly created charging points at 70 branches of food retailers Lidl and Kaufland.
VW recently agreed a deal with these Schwarz Group companies to ensure easy the operation of its electric fleet and to expand public charging infrastructure.
Initially, the vehicles will be collected and recharged by service employees when the battery level is low. Later, users will receive incentives for recharging vehicles themselves.
This mobility service is the latest in a line of Volkswagen We products.
The number of car sharing users in Germany has risen 14 times since 2010. Only about 180,000 people were registered as car sharing users in 2010 but that grew to 2.46m by the beginning of 2019 and continues to grow, according to VW.
Volkswagen We pools all the digital services the automaker offers. Services already launched include the app We Park, We Experience for personalised recommendations concerning goods or services near to the vehicle or We Deliver, which makes the car boot a delivery point for parcel services. Future offerings will include over the air software updates and vehicle functions on demand.