BMW DriveNow service launches in San FranciscoEnlarge Photo
We quite like the BMW ActiveE. It's a good-looking, comfortable, quick electric car, and its existence will help develop BMW's first true electric production car, the 2014 BMW i3.
Now, thanks to BMW's car sharing service DriveNow, residents in San Francisco will also get to enjoy the ActiveE's charms.
The service was initially launched in June, but BMW now has a fleet of 70 ActiveE vehicles in the city, and 8 DriveNow stations. Further stations are planned at key locations, such as Palo Alto and San Francisco International Airport.
Customers can use the website or DriveNow app, downloadable from the Apple iTunes store, to locate one of the 70 ActiveEs in the city.
Once you've selected a vehicle, you simply press the "book now" button, and head to your nearest DriveNow valet station--located close to Bay Area Rapid Transit hubs and municipal railway stations.
The car unlocks with your drivenow ID, and a pin number is used to start the car. After that you're away--making best use of the ActiveE's 80-100 mile range.
The first 30 minutes of driving will cost you $12, and it's another $0.32 for each minute after that. You can even keep the car for a whole day, for $90. Once you're done, drop the car off at a DriveNow station and select "end reservation" on the in-car touch screen. All pretty simple.
As with other schemes like Daimler's Car2Go, operating in San Diego and some other cities with Smart ForTwo Electric Drives, car sharing is still one of the best ways of introducing drivers to electric vehicles--and with a BMW badge on the front, it could prove pretty successful in San Francisco.