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German automaker broadens car-sharing program


BMW Group has launched its ReachNow car-sharing service in Seattle in the US, offering customers 370 BMW and MINI vehicles, of which 74 are i3 plug-in all-electric variants. The Bavarian manufacturer has extended its European-derived brand ‘DriveNow’ into the US city, and plans to expand further into North America.

ReachNow has numerous strategies including a delivery service (taking the vehicle to the customer), closed user groups (such as companies or groups), prolonged use (extended journeys) and chauffeur services, and also offers customers the ability to hire out their own car, such as while on holiday.

Registration to ReachNow can be done via smartphone, and is a partner with San Francisco-based RideCell car-sharing business, which partnered with BMW in 2014. ReachNow works on a time-charging model of 49 US cents per minute, and 30 cents while parked or stationary. Prices include insurance, petrol, parking costs, taxes/fees and electricity used to charge the i3. Other vehicles in the fleet include the 328i and MINI Cooper.

DriveNow, the Euro-version of ReachNow works on a free-floating strategy, where customers can leave vehicles anywhere in a defined city area, in cities such as Munich, Berlin, Vienna, London, Stockholm and Copenhagen. DriveNow’s fleet consists of over 4000 vehicles, again 20 percent of which, are BMW i3s.

BMW management have promised to incorporate more ride-sharing and mobility programs into its future business prospects.