Danish car-sharing GreenMobility leaves Belgium

Car-sharing company GreenMobility is leaving Belgium and returning to its Danish home market. After previously exiting the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, and Sweden, the Belgian branch will also be sold or closed down. “A pity,” according to Steve Van Avermaet, responsible for GreenMobility’s Belgian activities. “We were the company’s first foreign market and the last one standing.”

Since its launch in 2020 in Belgium, GreenMobility has grown from 200 to 400 green-white electric Renaults. Recently, it reduced its fleet again to 200 units. After disappearing from the streets in Brussels and Ghent, the GreenMobility cars will leave Antwerp. GreenMobility was the first free-floating partner that allowed roaming between Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels.

GreenMobility Belgium employed about ten people. Driving a GreenMobility car costs €0,185/minute, including charging, parking, and insurance.

Car-sharing world

The announcement is not the first in the car-sharing world. Since the beginning of this year, D’Ieteren’s typical red Poppy cars have no longer been seen on Mechelen, Leuven, and Ghent streets. Apparently, those regional cities do not have enough critical mass to run such a fleet profitably.

Poppy was launched in Mechelen on June 1st, 2021, after Antwerp and Brussels, the third Belgian city where the car sharer offered its services. The free-floating red cars were launched to supplement the other shared car system, Cambio.

Harsh reality

Poppy was launched to encourage a shift from car ownership to shared mobility, reduce the number of cars in traffic, and contribute to a more sustainable city. Car sharing takes seven other cars off the street, improving the air quality.

But even Poppy couldn’t sail around the harsh reality, as it was facing the huge costs of a fleet of over 2,000 cars already. A huge investment, even for Belgium’s biggest VW-brands importer, that had to be earned back with rides bringing in an average of nine euros, a source at D’Ieteren said off the record.

Partago also recently stopped its activities due to financial problems. Car-sharing companies often struggle to become profitable due to higher interest rates and irregular users. Most companies also suffer from vandalism, such as smashed windows, emptied fire extinguishers, and broken rear-view mirrors.


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