The UN projects that two-thirds of people will be living in cities by 2050. That’s huge. And with several more billions of people living in cities around the world, that makes urban mobility an increasingly important topic.
Carsharing platforms are a solution many are turning to, particularly in cities where owning a car is increasingly impractical. GreenMobility is one such platform, boasting an all-electric fleet, currently located in Copenhagen and Oslo, and with plans to eventually expand throughout Europe. It is growing fast: from zero customers in 2016 to more than 43,500 today, and gaining more members every day.
With numerous carsharing platforms out there today, we were curious as to what sets GreenMobility apart and to learn more about its plans for the future. We spoke with the company’s founder and CEO, Henrik Isaksen, to find out.
What was your inspiration in founding GreenMobility?
I have been in the car industry for all my life working for large companies and creating businesses myself. GreenMobility is my latest venture and by far the most exciting, because we are change makers in a world facing massive challenges as to costs, carbon and congestion.
5-10 years ago, I noticed a change in customer demand away from ownership towards renting or leasing a car. This trend has gained momentum and now many people will only pay for a car when they use it. Not when it’s parked. It’s all about convenience and flexibility and with still more people living in the cities, it makes a lot of sense. That’s our opportunity. And the net makes it possible.
Where are you currently located? How many cars do you offer in these locations?
Today we run our own operation in Copenhagen with 400 cars and more than 43,500 customers. In October 2016 we had none. In December last year, our first partner, NSB, started its operation in Oslo with 250 cars and already has more than 9,000 customers. Copenhagen is our test bed where we optimize the interaction with the customers who can earn free mileage when charging the cars. What we learn in Copenhagen and in other cities we will share with our partners. Oslo is our first showcase.
Plans for expansion? As CleanTechnica reported, you’ve been in negotiations for the operation of a fleet in Dublin – any progress there?
The business model of GreenMobility is all about expanding outside Denmark. Our prime focus is Europe, because of the layout of the cities, their density and the green momentum. In Dublin we talked to a few interesting potential partners and we expect to announce a partnership within the next couple of weeks.
With a growing number of other carsharing platforms out there right now, what sets GreenMobility apart?
I believe we have a very customer friendly solution with attractive incentives and I know that we have the most efficient fleet management in town with a very competitive cost structure. That matters long term in most markets…
On top of that, we drive EVs only, so we are pure play which I believe is an asset going forward. Particularly when we talk to city councils which scan the marketplace for providers of modern urban mobility.
You’ve had a solid relationship with Renault to supply your operations in Copenhagen and Oslo. Will you expand to include other models as you grow as a company?
Today, Renault has the best value proposition in the market – the Zoe offers the best, cheapest and most secure cost of ownership. Having said that, there are many dimensions to factor in and we do of course have an active dialogue with other car manufacturers. Do not forget that the car is by far the biggest cost driver in carsharing.
How many members do you have?
Today, April 4, 2019 15.27 pm, we have 52,525 members, and growing about 150 every day.
How do you envision carsharing will shape mobility in the coming years?
I believe we are entering an unprecedented time of change within mobility – from horseless many years ago to driverless within the next 5-10 years or maybe a little more. To succeed, carsharing, which is the working horse in the mid-distance segment, needs strong public transportation offerings within long-distance. You will not give up your own car if there is no attractive long-distance solution available. Bicycles, etc., can do the short distance job. The recipe for success in dealing with carbon, Nox, and congestion is the mix of the three. In the cities, car ownership will lose out to car access because parking becomes too costly and many city dwellers do not need their own car daily. They can spend their money more wisely.