VW to Take on Uber with Moia Electric Startup

Put Down the Map and Let the Garmi Nuvi 760 Lead the Way

Volkswagen’s Moia is a new mobility-service division startup that the company hopes will take on the likes of ride-hailing service, Uber. The German carmaker is struggling to salvage the company’s offerings following the diesel-emissions scandal.

Moia will offer electric cars, autonomous driving and ride-hailing.

The startup will focus on car-sharing and ride-hailing initially. The company will offer services in two European cities in 2017, with the potential to expand into further markets. The goal of Moia is to generate billions in revenue in a few years.

Ole Harms, the unit’s head, states, “We’re a startup with VW group’s resources, and we have a global aspiration.” The company’s official unveiling is on Monday at the Tech Crunch Disrupt Conference.

VW has stated it may be willing to sell a minority share of the company. VW has invested over a hundred million euros into the company, according to sources. VW, a slow innovator, has started to invest in future technologies following a diesel emissions scandal.

The company invested $300 million in Gett Inc. in May. Gett is a ride-hailing provider. Matthias Mueller, CEO of VW Group states, “Even though not everyone will still own a car in future, Moia can help make everyone a customer of our company in some way or another.”

The division hopes to offer a self-driving vehicle by 2021. The brand’s initial start in Europe may be expanded further into China, Latin America and the United States. Moia is based in Berlin, and has 50 employees. The company expects to expand to 200 employees by the end of 2017.

VW hopes to generate a large part of the company’s revenue through mobility services by 2025.

Harms states, “We want to be a relevant player.”

The company plans to offer on-demand, shared shuttles as part of their service. Moia aims to offer prices similar to public transport costs to remain competitive.