BMW’s DriveNow Car Sharing Service Expected to Add i3s to US Fleet in 2014
5 Y BY ERIC LOVEDAY
BMW’s DriveNow electric vehicle sharing program in the US is slowly increasing in popularity.
Though limited to only ActiveE electric vehicles and only offered in the Bay Area of California, BMW is finding that the US version of DriveNow is utilized quite often—not nearly as often as DriveNow in Germany where vehicles are available curb side and include Mini Coopers, BMW 1 Series (electric and non-electric) and BMW X1 crossovers and 10,000 registered users exist.
The problem with the US DriveNow is vehicle availability (only 70 ActiveEs are part of the fleet) and accessibility (vehicles must be parked in privately owned areas and are not allowed to be left on the street).
Regardless, BMW see expansion in the future for DriveNow in the US.
According to BMW, the i3 will likely be the vehicle of choice for DriveNow US when it launches in Q2 of 2014. BMW further hints that some ICE vehicles (yuck) may be added to the car-sharing fleet.
Here’s how DriveNow works for the time being in the US, according to Automotive News:
“DriveNow members pay $39 for a lifetime membership. They are issued a card with a radio frequency identification chip that also serves as a key. Cars can be booked via a DriveNow app available on Apple and Android phones.”
“Members pay $12 for the first 30 minutes they use the car and 32 cents for every additional minute. An hour costs $20. If the car is parked, the rate drops to 13 cents a minute.”
Sidenote: Richard Steinberg, CEO of DriveNow USA, told Automotive News that ActiveE lessees who will have expiring leases prior to the i3’s US arrival will be given the option to extend their lease until the i3 is available.