Looking beyond traditional retail, MOL has started to embrace rapid changes in transportation by tapping into growing areas of consumer demand. Our aim is to become one of the primary sources of mobility solutions and innovations in the region, and to branch out from commodity seller to service provider. For such transformation, digital technologies will play a vital role in improving our understanding of what customers want from a convenience retailer or a mobility provider. While MOL already employs certain digital technologies, we have started to significantly gear up our capabilities to prepare for this new digital retail world.
Our ambition is to embrace the e-mobility revolution and explore opportunities arising from development of alternative fuels. We want all our customers, regardless whether they drive a traditional or electric vehicle, to be able to travel freely across our region. Besides increasing the current number of MOL Plugee-branded electric chargers at our service stations, together with other partners of the NEXT-E consortium we are installing 250+ EV chargers along main highways in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania. Through this EU co-financed project, by 2021 we will enable full access for electric cars across the Central and Eastern European region.
As the next building block of our mobility services, in 2018 we launched a pioneering car sharing service in Budapest, MOL Limo. Since its launch, MOL Limo fleet has already grown from 300 to 450 cars of which one-third already runs on electricity. We expanded our original fleet with a more diverse selection of models to offer solutions to our customers in a wide variety of situations and needs.
MOL Limo provides a flexible solution, which allows users to leave their car anywhere within the service zone and works hand-in-hand with public transport or even with bike sharing. Our long-term goal is to extend the network in Budapest and beyond, and eventually operate a fully electric fleet, in line with the development of EV infrastructure in Hungary and the CEE region.
However, MOL Limo was not our first initiative in the mobility field. A bike sharing service, MOL Bubi, was launched in 2014 as a result of cooperation of MOL, the Budapest public transportation company (BKK), as well as the Municipality of Budapest. Following the success of MOL Bubi, a new bike sharing service Slovnaft BAJK was launched in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2018.
MOL Fleet Solution has been established as part of our new mobility strategy in spring 2017. The main goal was to finance and manage vehicles owned and used by MOL Group and external clients, such as international and Hungarian companies, as well as fleets of small-, medium- and big- size businesses. In the future, MOL Fleet Solution’s goal is to further expand the fleet and gradually increase the number of electric vehicles. By providing flexibility and superior level of service, MOL Fleet Solution aspires to become a dominant player in the regional fleet management market.
MOL Group acquired a majority stake through a joint-venture in ITK Holding in 2018, a company focusing mainly on the operation of buses in public transportation. The company operates above 300 buses by now on a daily basis in Hungary and after the introduction of various prototypes it started the manufacturing of its in-house developed low-entry buses under the Mercedes-Benz Reform brand besides also pursuing the activity of final-assembly of buses. MOL Group is planning to build on the synergies with its existing interests in the field of mobility to offer additional higher added-value services to its customers.