BMW's DriveNow car-sharing service will suspend San Francisco operations in November.
The DriveNow carsharing service, which is a partnership between BMW and Sixt, is growing quite rapidly. "We've been surprised about the explosion of new subscriptions, which has helped boost revenue," says Sixt CEO Erich Sixt. The number of DriveNow users has increased from 215,000 at the end of last year to 300,000 today.
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.
BMW brought 80 software developers and computer programmers together to tackle the themes of sustainability and electro-mobility in a hackathon last month. BMW hosted the Sustainability Hackathon to deal with a widespread problem – electric vehicles that get parked at charging stations – for example, during the workday – for extended periods of time beyond the few hours needed for charging.
Carsharing venture DriveNow GmbH, owned by BMW and European rental company Sixt AG, is expected to be profitable this year, the first time that will happen since starting up two years ago. BMW hopes to overtake German rival Daimler (with Car2go) in this growing space as urban consumers become more interested in transportation alternatives like carsharing.