BMW is putting a new spin on the concept of the San Francisco treat. The German automaker cut a deal to clear out 80 street-parking spaces for its DriveNow car-sharing program in the notoriously parking-constrained City by the Bay. Bimmer is also more than doubling its all-electric ActiveE car-sharing fleet in San Francisco to 150 vehicles from 70.

Starting later this month, customers will be able to access the DriveNow website or app to find, reserve and park the electric Bimmers on certain streets in San Francisco's Mission district. Once the car is ready to be turned back in, the vehicle's in-car screen will also indicate what "drop-off" zones the driver can use to end the reservation. It's all very high-tech, and BMW is looking to expand the program to other San Francisco neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, the Haight, Noe Valley and Potrero Hill. There's also a contest for users to name the 80 new vehicles, but it involves a really complicated lettering system. "New" here means new to DriveNow, since these ActiveE electric vehicles are really those that were, until recently, used by the Electronauts in BMW's EV leasing program. Since those leases are ending, the cars need to go somewhere. We think carsharing is a great home for them.

BMW, which also runs DriveNow in the German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Dusseldorf, said in March that it was looking to add the service to as many as 15 more cities in Europe as well as another 10 in the US. BMW debuted DriveNow in San Francisco in August 2012, though parking the cars has always been an issue. Check out BMW's press release below.
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BMW Group's DriveNow Car-Sharing Service Expands to Street Parking in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and BMW Group board member Dr. Ian Robertson provided details about DriveNow at a news conference on ...

Eighty All-Electric BMW ActiveE Vehicles Added to the DriveNow Fleet to Increase the Convenience of Finding and Parking Emission-Free Cars.

San Francisco, CA – May 8, 2014... BMW Group subsidiary DriveNow, a flexible, premium car-sharing program, will expand to offer street parking in multiple neighborhoods in San Francisco, beginning in select areas of the Mission District and will add 80 electric BMW ActiveE vehicles to the existing fleet, increasing the total number of ActiveE vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area to 150. DriveNow members will have the opportunity to name the 80 electric vehicles in a two-week social media challenge.

Later this month in the Mission District, members will be able to use the DriveNow app or website to locate, reserve and park cars on specific streets between Potrero Avenue and Folsom Street and between 16th Street and 26th Street. DriveNow members will be informed by the in-car screen and the DriveNow app which streets are in a "green zone," or a DriveNow drop-off zone, designating that it is approved for parking. If a DriveNow member attempts to end a reservation in a non-sanctioned DriveNow drop-off zone, the in-car screen will alert the driver that the reservation cannot be ended, and if applicable, help identify the appropriate streets for parking.

"DriveNow with street parking is available in several cities across Europe, and it has been a very successful business model, so we are pleased to bring street parking to the U.S.," said Richard Steinberg, CEO of DriveNow USA. "By expanding our offerings in San Francisco, our members will find it is more convenient than ever to find and park a DriveNow vehicle."

The 80 vehicles, from members of BMW's Electronaut program who previously leased the ActiveEs, will be available on San Francisco streets and at 17 DriveNow locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, including Palo Alto, the San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. DriveNow is also working on additional station expansion around the Bay Area, including San Jose International Airport. DriveNow is a cost-effective solution for airport transfers.

The DriveNow community is invited to name the 80 additional ActiveE vehicles through a two-week challenge on Facebook and Twitter to help develop personalities for the new electric cars. Submissions for the new ActiveE names should follow this protocol:
Use the letters "A" and "E," as in "ActiveE";
Use the letters "E" and "V," as in "electric vehicle"; or
Use the letters "B," "E" and "V," as in "battery electric vehicle."
The letters could be used consecutively or as first and last names, such as ArchiE, EVita, BEVerly or Escape Vehicle. The selected names will appear on the car sticker, in the DriveNow app and on the DriveNow website. The social media challenge is open May 9-23, 2014.

By the end of the year, DriveNow has committed to extending street parking to include areas of Bernal Heights, Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, North Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square and Potrero Hill in San Francisco.

DriveNow members can pick up and return vehicles to any DriveNow station or delineated parking spot; the available DriveNow vehicles, along with their charging status, are displayed on an interactive map on the DriveNow website and in the DriveNow app on Apple App Store or Google Play.

BMW is committed to encouraging the development of mobility options that will reduce emissions and congestion and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area, which remains the third most congested city in the U.S. The DriveNow car-sharing program provides drivers with access to BMW's ActiveE electric cars with zero emission driving at 11 public stations locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to six corporate locations, dealerships and ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations.

Launched in Europe in 2011 and now available in Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Hamburg, DriveNow is a part of BMW i, a BMW brand focused on developing sustainable premium mobility solutions. DriveNow is a tool to introduce new customers to the BMW brand and electric mobility. It helps attract younger customers to the BMW brand before they own their own vehicle. Globally, the average DriveNow member is 10 years younger than the BMW Group's young MINI customers.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.


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      Paul Felix Schott
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