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Green Mobility car-share company leaves Brussels and Ghent for lack of profit

15:41 06/01/2024

Electric car-sharing company Green Mobility has announced that it is leaving Brussels and Ghent, citing unprofitability.

The Danish company will continue to operate in Antwerp and will keep its dozen or so employees, Bruzz reports.

Green Mobility currently has about 350 shared cars in Belgium, distinguishing itself from some other car-share options by allowing its vehicles to be dropped off at a different location from where they were picked up. Brussels users could, for example, commute to Ghent and leave the car there.

The company first launched in Antwerp and Ghent in 2020 before moving into Brussels in 2022. While withdrawing completely from Ghent, the firm said that it would be scaling back sharply in Brussels - focusing only on the airport - in order to meet commitments made to its parent company.

“We promised to concentrate on profitable markets,” said Green Mobility Belgium chief executive Steve Van Avermaet.

“Antwerp and Brussels Airport are among them, which is unfortunately not the case for Ghent and Brussels itself. We obviously don't like closing markets. It's regrettable, but profitability is fundamental to the survival of the company.”

About 30 cars are currently available in Ghent and between 60 and 70 in Brussels. Affected customers are instructed to recover any remaining balance from Green Mobility's customer service department.

As long as there are still cars, rides can still be started in the capital, but since 21 December they can no longer be terminated there. This must then be done in Antwerp or at the Green Mobility hotspot at Brussels Airport.

Management declined to comment on the number of customers registered with Green Mobility in the two cities, but Van Avermaet did not rule out an eventual return to either.

Other car-sharing companies remain in the capital, including Cambio, Wibee, Getaround, Poppy and Miles.

Cambio now has more than 2,700 cars, each of which, it estimates, replaces 15 in traffic. The firm said it had no issue with profitability in Brussels, with its shared cars having made one million journeys last year.

Management at Cambio said that its success is proof that car-sharing is “becoming an increasingly common part of everyday mobility” and that shared cars in stations are just as suitable for short everyday journeys (shopping, family visits) as they are for long journeys (weekends or holidays).

Launched 20 years ago, Cambio now has more than 70,000 subscribers (27,595 in Brussels, 38,209 in Flanders and 4,844 in Wallonia) and is present in 108 Belgian towns and cities.

Written by Helen Lyons