This Cutting-Edge Volkswagen Bus Might Be the Ride of the Future

Amsterdam agency helps introduce MOIA

We love it when an agency puts its back into changing a cultural paradigm. That’s what Amsterdam-based KRFL is doing with Volkswagen subsidiary MOIA, a ridesharing service that calls itself a “social movement.”

Based in Berlin, Hamburg and Helsinki, MOIA is a concept that puts UberPool to shame. Like Uber, it’ll find you wherever you are, minimizing your wait time. Unlike Uber, it’s 100 percent electric, and dedicated to making ridesharing feel luxurious and productive—for less than the cost of a taxi. (Brief digression: How times have changed! Remember when Uber felt both cheap and luxurious?)

MOIA’s team estimates it can reduce urban congestion and pollution by up to 90 percent. The company pledges to take 1 million cars off the road in the cities it’s targeting, assuming it goes mainstream.

The brand is working directly with public transportation organizations and cities to ensure streamlined mobility service that ostensibly works with, not against, whatever public transport options exist. But its main goal is to get people to use the extra space wasted in all those cars congesting streets—a problem MOIA discovered is mostly psychological.

So, VW whipped out its agency guns. KRFL developed the name, visual identity, branding and launch campaign. MOIA touts itself as the only electric ridepooling service, and was designed exclusively for that purpose. After studying proxemics—the science of personal space—before conception, convenience features include plenty of leg room, dimmable reading lights, USB ports and even WiFi for on-the-go workers, not to mention storage space for luggage.

An accompanying app enables users to book and pay for their ride in advance. Like many existing pickup services, the app highlights available cars and how much the ride will cost before a trip is booked. A pooling algorithm groups passengers with similar destinations, minimizing detours and maximizing use of the van’s capacity.

“The car represents total comfort and is a crucial piece of our consistent service experience. We developed it using our co-creation process, which involved multiple rounds of potential users of various age groups testing cars and providing feedback,” says MOIA COO Robert Henrich. “Many of the ideas from this process went directly into the development of the car. We’re also working on other future versions as well.”

The MOIA was manufactured over 10 months, using agile processes in Volkwagen’s Osnabrück plant, and has a range of over 300 kilometers (about 186 miles). It can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes … which beats our current smartphones by a long shot.

Following a testing period with 20 VW T6 Multivans in Hanover, which began in October, the MOIA launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin this week. To give people a sense of what to expect, a VR experience provided a full tour of all the vehicle’s features. (Sort of like KLM, but without the mean streak.)

The complete MOIA “ecosystem” will roll out in Hamburg, Germany, at the end of next year, with various operator models that suit the needs of cities and partners.

“MOIA is a big and bold vision for how cities can operate in the future,” says KRFL executive creative director Hesling Reidinga. “We needed to kit them out with an equally exciting and bold vision, which we expressed through the line ‘social movement’ — a vision that shows how mobility can affect everyone, and how everyone’s involvement is required if we are to positively change things.”

Well, hey. If we can help the environment without being mashed up against strangers, and have our own WiFi-nourished workstations to boot, all for less than standard cab fare, only one question remains: When can we book? Consider our psychological misgivings resolved.

Agency: Khanna Reidinga Faralley Lebon
Director: Lutz Hattenhauer
Production Company: Markenfilm Crossing

Recommended videos