German automaker BMW has been operating an electric-car sharing program in Germany since June 2011 which offers local commuters the opportunity to rent one of its EV models. Through this service, BMW hopes to introduce drivers unfamiliar with driving an EV to the new technology by giving them a chance to get behind the wheel for themselves. The service offers models from the BMW 1 Series and models from its Mini subsidiary.

The German automaker has expanded its DriveNow service to the United States, beginning in San Francisco. A totally of 70 ActiveE vehicles have been distributed across San Francisco at 8 service stations for a pay-as-you-go rental program. The program encourages flexible use by allowing drivers to return the vehicles at any of the 8 stations, regardless of where they picked the vehicle up. “We’ve found that the A-to-B model works, and works well,” Thomas Cole, a BMW of North America executive, said in an interview.

The cars are rented by the minute or for the day; allowing for both short term use, in the manner of a traditional car-sharing network, as well as long-term rental. Users of the service pay an initial, one-time membership fee after which individual rentals are charged according to a tiered system.

Source: NY Times Wheels blogpost

Read more about the program at its website DriveNow

All News Posts