BMW ReachNow car-sharing service offers i3 electric cars in Seattle


BMW ReachNow

BMW ReachNow

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After a brief hiatus, BMW is once again offering a car-sharing service in the U.S.

The German carmaker shut down its DriveNow service in San Francisco, but is now re-launching the service—with a new name, ReachNow—in Seattle.

Users will have access to a fleet of 370 vehicles, including BMW i3 electric cars, as well as BMW 3-Series and MINI Cooper models.

DON'T MISS: San Diego Car2Go car-sharing service drops electric Smarts for gasoline models

These cars will be placed on Seattle streets, and there are plans to stage cars at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at a later date.

The previous San Francisco DriveNow service used ActiveE electric cars. These were converted 1 Series coupes that were also used to aid development of the i3.

Customers use an app (iOS or Android) to reserve vehicles or extend the length of a rental on the fly, and can even have one delivered at a specified time and location.

BMW ReachNow

BMW ReachNow

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Rates include a one-time registration fee of $39, plus $0.49 cents for each minute of driving, and $0.30 cents for each minute the car is parked.

For a "limited time," BMW says it will waive the registration fee, and cut the drive-time rate to $0.41 per minute.

Rates include insurance, fuel, applicable taxes, and parking at public meters within designated areas.

ALSO SEE: Ad-Supported Car Sharing Gives 2 Electric-Car Hours Free In LA

This essentially follows the car-sharing model employed by other companies like Zipcar and Daimler's Car2Go, but BMW is throwing in some novel features.

MINI owners will be able to rent out their own cars through ReachNow, for one.

It's also possible to book both a car and a driver, in case renters don't want to drive themselves.

BMW ReachNow

BMW ReachNow

Enlarge Photo

BMW felt Seattle would be particularly receptive to a car-sharing service that featured electric cars among others, and it's hard to argue with that assessment.

The Emerald City was named third friendliest to electric cars in an annual survey by charging-network operator ChargePoint.

MORE: What Cities Have Most Electric Cars In The U.S.? (Aug 2015)

Following the Seattle launch, BMW plans to three more U.S. cities in 2016.

It ultimately hopes to offer the service across 10 U.S. cities.

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