“Being small allows Go Green City to be responsive and offer solutions tailored to a particular environment. Flexibility and agility are our advantages and that's why I wanted a software partner with the same qualities” – Jose Tavares, the founder and CEO of Go Green City, explains why he chose to partner with ATOM Mobility.
Launch date: August 2021
Fleet size: 200 e-mopeds
Web page: https://go-greencity.ch
App Store: https://apps.apple.com/ch/app/id1583947739
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ggc.app
Jose began building Go Green City, a Swiss electric moped sharing company, with another well-known software provider on the market. Still, he quickly grew disillusioned after experiencing delays in communication and a generally passive attitude. Moving quickly is a key advantage of starting a new enterprise, and being held back by outside parties was unacceptable. This became clear early on in Jose's journey, when he was still just validating the viability of his solution.
“The initial partner company was just too big and took too long to react,” explains Jose. “I wanted a partner that can match my pace and with whom I could establish strong foundations for a long-term partnership.”
After tasking his son with finding an alternative provider, Go Green City quickly landed with ATOM Mobility as it met Jose's criteria – professional, responsive, and not too big. The two companies have been working together ever since, with a shared outlook toward the future, and, as they say, the rest is history.
It's not about getting from A to B, but rather from B to C
For Jose, Go Green City is about giving back. Having had a career in the automotive industry for most of his life, Jose wanted to create something that improves the lives of city folk and helps the environment. An electric alternative for urban last-mile mobility is his answer.
“We considered and tested electric car sharing and scooters, before landing on mopeds. The problem I wanted to solve was to get people from B to C. Not A to B, because I would compete against public transport and create more traffic and congestion. I firmly believe that public transport is the best and greenest solution that should serve as the backbone of urban transit,” says Jose. “That's why I'm focusing on a last-mile solution. My goal is to get people into the bus and then onto the electric moped, rather than replace the bus.”
Go Green City started operating in 2022 and today its 200 e-mopeds have done over 120,000 km inside the city with zero emissions. But for Jose, that's just the beginning. Looking to grow his fleet more than tenfold and launch next year in Portugal, Jose is steadily carving out his place in urban mobility through smart partnerships and sheer grit.
A one-man army
Jose has built Go Green City from the ground up almost single-handedly. Up until now, the company's operations were virtually 100% outsourced, save for the considerable efforts of Jose himself. “I've done my job when I can go on a vacation and everything runs smoothly without me,” Jose shares.
Today, Go Green City demands around 2 hours of Jose's time a day, but this is the result of 5 years of hard work and long nights. “To be a good leader, even to freelancers, you have to know every nook and cranny of the business and have to be willing to do the hard work yourself. You can't ask more of others than you do of yourself.”
Over the years, there have been a lot of hiccups – from vehicle hacks to delivery problems due to the Suez canal's blockage – but having trusted partners at your side and extensive industry knowledge helped Jose navigate all the ups and downs right up until the launch and beyond.
The launch of Go Green City happened without much fanfare. The idea was to launch smoothly and quietly, to avoid antagonizing competition and give citizens the opportunity to discover the advantages of Go Green City themselves. It was a tremendous success that was quickly amplified further through word-of-mouth marketing.
People were eager to engage with the new and convenient e-mopeds and became loyal customers once they discovered that it was the cheapest mobility option available. This also encouraged people to share feedback, all of which was quickly managed on the other end by Jose himself to further improve the service and foster a sense of community.
“I wanted people to feel heard and make them feel like a part of the business. That's why I always ended my communications with 'Thank you for being part of our club' and that really resonated with people.”
Nuggets of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs
After an illustrious 30-year career in the automotive industry and a strong start with Go Green City, Jose's advice to future entrepreneurs is “don't talk, just do it”. Don't tell people where you are going, but announce when you've arrived.
“Sharing your plans and ambitions will only make people question you and you'll spend a lot of energy and time arguing and justifying yourself to friends, family, and partners,” explains Jose. “Sometimes, don't even tell your wife”.
“People have amazing ideas and initiatives, but they seek validation and support from acquaintances who can never really give you what you need. Usually, they just make you question yourself. Instead, just do it. Try. Even if you fail, the most important thing is that you've learned and you'll do better next time,” concludes Jose.
Thanks to an alignment in business philosophies, ATOM Mobility and Go Green City collaborate like a well-oiled machine. And Jose can continue his entrepreneurial mission of improving the lives of travelers and contributing to the well-being of the environment.