Interviews
18 sep 17

“Three clicks, and you’re driving”

Your City Car is cheap, green and easy: “Three clicks, and you’re driving”, says Torben Andersen, CEO of GreenMobility. For now, the Danish startup is offering the formula only in Copenhagen. But an IPO last June - the first ever for an EV carsharing company - has cleared the path for its European ambitions.

GreenMobility has only been in operation since last October, but it inspired enough investor confidence to raise €8.4 million for a quarter of its shares, the largest IPO since years on Nasdaq First North in Copenhagen. We asked Mr. Andersen (pictured) for the secret of his company’s success.

Who’s behind GreenMobility?

“The company was founded in 2015 by Henrik Isaksen, a Danish car industry veteran who had already established a number of succesfull businesses. Which means that unlike many other carsharing companies, we are a genuine startup, unattached to manufacturers. That makes us more eager to innovate, I would say”.

How does Your City Car work?

“We offer free-floating carsharing in a zone of 120 km2, covering Copenhagen, Frederiksberg and Gentofte, plus a few satellite locations such as Copenhagen Airport, the Technical University and hospitals. Our fleet consists of 400 full-electric Renault Zoes, which can be picked up and left behind in any municipal parking in the zone”.

How are Copenhageners responding to your offer?

“Very well. At the end of August, we had over 15,000 customers signed up. During that month alone, they made a total of 35,000 trips, so more than two per customer, on average. But we still have capacity to grow, and are actively signing up new customers”.

How much does it cost?

“Membership is free. Nor do you have to worry about fees for parking or recharging. All the customer pays for is usage. The basic rate is 3.5 kroner (€0.47) per minute. We also have a day rate of 450 kroner (€60). That corresponds to 128 minutes, so if you keep the car for that long, you get it for free for almost 22 hours extra. We also have a monthly rate of 1,195 kroner (€160), which gives you 45 hours of usage”.

Lots of carsharing formulas are popping up across Europe. What’s your USP?

“We offer electric mobility only, and we do this in a very simple and straightforward manner. Signing up is as easy as using the formula itself. Three clicks, and you’re driving”.

Electric is cool. But how do you deal with range anxiety?

“The app shows how much battery power the cars have left, and removes those with less than 10%. That’s still enough to drive 10 km - at least. We see that the average trip is 7 km. On a full charge, our cars have a range of up to 150 km. And in any case, all our cars have a charge card, which can be used at around 600 charge points in Copenhagen, and around 1,300 in Denmark. It takes two hours for empty batteries to fully charge”.

What makes your product appealing to corporate customers?

“We notice that companies are increasingly using our services, for two main reasons: since we’re an electric-only company, it fits in with their CSR. And there’s cost: we’re about one-third of the price of a Copenhagen taxi”.

So what’s next for GreenMobility? Or, more precisely, when and where?

“We’ve identified 60 cities across Europe where our product would make sense. One important criterium is size: we’re looking for cities at least as big as Copenhagen, but not much more than twice the size. So not London, Paris or Berlin. Amsterdam would be a better fit. That would make it easier for franchise takers to adopt our ‘carsharing in a box’ concept. Currently, we’re mainly looking at cities in northern Europe. We’re looking to expand into some of those cities by the end of this year or in 2018”.

Image: GreenMobility

Authored by: Frank Jacobs