Uh-oh, Car2Go is ending in North America! On the 18th of December Car2Go’s parent company Share Now issued a statement saying that they were exiting the North American market (as well as London, Brussels, and Florence) effective as of 29 February 2020.
Car2Go had already entered and withdrawn from various US and Canadian cities. Most recently in October 2019 it retired from Austin, Denver, Portland, and Calgary. These were markets it had been in for the best part of a decade (2012/2013-onwards). Such actions were omens of future strategic shifts.
Share Now say that they are leaving the market based on two complicated realities:
- The volatile state of the global mobility landscape.
- The rising infrastructure complexities facing North American transportation:
- rapidly evolving competitive mobility landscape
- lack of necessary infrastructure to support new technology (including electric vehicle car share)
- rising operating costs
At a glance, this seems reasonable. Car2Go has increasingly competed with ride-hailing services and alternative mobility solutions like… scooters. The market for vehicles is heading electric, but large infrastructure upgrades and investments are needed to seriously grow electric car-sharing. Car2Go is a titan of the car-sharing industry, so it’s a shame they couldn’t identify a competitive path forward.
Looking at Vancouver specifically, it’s not clear whether Vancouver was a problem-city or a diamond in the rough of North America. Considering that Vancouver was one of of the first cities Car2Go expanded into in 2011 and has been expanding their fleet since 2011, I suspect that it was seen as a diamond. However, with the imminent arrival of ride-hailing services, perhaps the success of Vancouver was perceived as being under-threat. Or perhaps with their recent retirements from other North American cities, the economics no longer worked.
Unfortunately Vancouver will be losing one of its two car-sharing companies. This hands a monopoly of 1-way car-sharing services to Evo. Although, ride-hailing services are imminently arriving in Vancouver, which will create some serious competition for Evo for a significant chunk of the trips that Evo users make.
Make sure that you’re ready for the change and if you haven’t already – sign up to Evo or other car-sharing services. Check out some of our other articles (that will soon be edited in light of changes to Car2Go), such as a comparison table of car sharing services in Vancouver, or Evo car share promo code if you think you may want to sign up for free to Evo and get some bonus minutes.
Now that Car2Go is ending in North America, I wonder what Car2Go will do with their vehicles? They have thousands of cars across major cities in North America that will need to be disposed of. I would be interested to see their sales plan! Who wants a cheap SmartForTwo? Nah thanks, I’ll stick to the Evo…!