I admit that in my time on Astypalaia I did not get very far into learning the details of the 'smart and sustainable' motto or how the project was proceeding. However, the goal is to become emission-free.

Part of this involved aiming to replace all internal combustion cars and trucks, estimated at 1,500 total, to electric vehicles and create enough charging stations to make that feasible. This is in partnership with Volkswagen.


Certainly things have started, for (at least in Chora) I found a number of charging stations.

This is one of the car sharing vehicles. Part of this is to also increase mobility options, especially for those living in rural areas not served by public transport.

Of course, power has to come from someplace and so the diesel generation plant has to be replaced with wind and solar along with storage technologies and the upgrading of the transmission network, smart electric meters and so on. So, the Greek government is also involved along with other agencies and universities.

But something should also be said for how the villages are designed. In the United States we are doomed to own cars to get places. In cities built before cars, they tend to have more options for walking and bikes or motorcycles - and Astypalaia uses a lot of motorcycles. They can get into smaller and more convoluted streets. I regularly saw people on motorcycles carrying supplies, toolboxes, even ladders. E-bikes are also part of the plans.

How are things proceeding? It wouldn't be a public-private partnership if there weren't delays. But things have started. The Greek PM, the Volkswagen CEO, the island's mayor were all involved at the hand over of the first electric vehicles to local police, and other government agencies in June 2021. Other aspects are in progress.

Some sources:

The Island's description of the project.

The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is studying the transition.

Last modified 6/122/22; original content © 2022 John P. Nordin