DriveNow car sharing network gets 400 new BMW i3 EVs

As part of the continued increase in the availability of electric vehicles, Copenhagen has taken delivery of 400 BMW i3s. The cars make up the initial fleet available to DriveNow uses as the German manufacturer expands its car sharing network.

Having already been launched successfully in cities such as London, Berlin, Munich and San Francisco, the DriveNow service is run by BMW and Mini alongside the logistics expertise of vehicle rental firm Sixt.

The 400 new i3 models took to the streets of Denmark's capital yesterday (Thursday 3rd September) for the launch of the city's DriveNow network. Organisers behind the expansion into Copenhagen have also worked with public service providers so that travel is made easier and cleaner throughout the city.

Dr Bernhard Blattel, head of BMW Group mobility services said: "Here in Copenhagen we are now already witnessing mobility of the future. It is on-demand technology, interconnected, quiet and electric. We are pleased to be able to introduce the capabilities of the BMW i3 and our expertise in future-oriented mobility concepts here in the Danish capital."

Speaking about the collaboration with public transport operator Arriva, he added: "We are not rivals, but co-operate with the providers of public transport in order to further develop urban mobility in a customer-oriented and sustainable way."

"We are proud and very happy to introduce this innovative solution to the city of Copenhagen together with our strong business partners. Furthermore, I am confident that DriveNow will prove as a unique opportunity for people to try out and enjoy the green means of transportation. This will contribute to a breakthrough for the electric cars," said Nikolaj Wendelboe, CEO of Arriva Denmark.

BMW's i3 is particularly well suited to Copenhagen's set-up as, not only does it offer zero tailpipe emission motoring, it is also the first production car to be fitted with "inter-modal routing." This means that you can incorporate public transport into the route guidance options when using the car's satellite navigation system.

DriveNow allows users to register for the car sharing service and then either pay a set monthly cost or drive on a pay-per-minute set-up. They then have access to the fleet of cars to sign in and out whenever they need one. In London 270 vehicles are available, made up from a combination of BMW and Mini models including the i3, 1 Series hatch and Mini Countryman, while in Denmark, currently just the electric i3 is on the fleet.

The system is designed to work within a set area - though users can enter and leave it at any time. Users can find a car with an app on their smartphone or tablet, sign in to the car by using their customer card, and then park it in any public place when they are done. All the cars come with relevant parking permits for the designated area meaning there is no need to pay for tickets, while the costs of monthly membership or pay-per-minute also cover the car's fuel, wear and tear, servicing costs, tax and insurance.

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:4th Sep 2015

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