BACC Editor on Friday, 31 August 2012 20:13
First launched in Germany in 2011, BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing program will begin expanding its premium EV footprint to the Bay Area in September. Under the new initiative, Bay Area residents can rent one of BMW’s 70 battery-powered 1 Series Coupes called “ActiveE” vehicles, which boast a 100-mile range, by the minute or for the day, at a rate of $12 for the first 30 minutes and 32 cents for each additional minute of drive time (see pricing model here). What distinguishes DriveNow most from other car-sharing services such as Zipcar is that members can return their vehicle to any DriveNow station, rendering the service invaluable for those who prefer only having to make a one-way premium trip. Eight DriveNow stations are currently located in San Francisco, with two additional ones slated for a September opening in Palo Alto and at the San Francisco International Airport. BMW hopes to further enhance the EV-sharing experience through its ParkNow mobile application, which will begin allowing members to reserve and pay for parking spaces in designated garages using their smartphones next month. Assuming all goes well during this initial U.S. test run, the automaker ultimately intends to add conventional gas models to its DriveNow fleet and expand the entire program to other U.S. megacities that feature dense, urban environments and high traffic congestion such as New York and Boston.