- BMW subsidiary DriveNow has expanded its car-sharing service in San Francisco to include street parking, in addition to 17 existing stations around the Bay Area.
- For now, street parking is limited to parts of the Mission District, but DriveNow intends to extend it to other areas by the end of the year.
- DriveNow members pay a one-time $39 fee, then accrue additional charges based on how long the BMW ActiveE plug-in electric is used.
SAN FRANCISCO — BMW subsidiary DriveNow has expanded its car-sharing service in San Francisco to include street parking, eliminating the need for customers to pick up and drop off cars at designated stations.
Although the idea considerably enhances DriveNow's convenience, for the moment street parking will be limited to just a few specific areas of the city.
The expanded service begins later this month in select areas of the Mission District. By the end of the year, DriveNow plans to extend street parking to parts of Bernal Heights, Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, North Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square and Potrero Hill.
Those locations will be added to the current list of 17 DriveNow stations that includes several in San Francisco, Oakland and Palo Alto, as well as San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport.
DriveNow says it's too soon to say when or if it might extend service to other U.S. cities, but if the company continues the pattern it followed in Europe, it's possible that the service could test other urban markets in North America sometime in the near future.
DriveNow was established in Munich in April, 2011, and has since expanded to include Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Hamburg. The service came to the U.S. in September, 2012, when it established car-sharing in San Francisco with a fleet of 70 ActiveE plug-in electrics, based on the BMW 1 Series coupe.
With the expansion to street parking, DriveNow says it will add another 80 ActiveE vehicles, for a total of 150.
To join DriveNow, members pay a one-time fee of $39. After that, it's a matter of finding the nearest available car through the DriveNow web site or mobile app, using a membership i.d. card to unlock it and entering a PIN on the vehicle's dashboard screen to get going.
Driving costs $12 for the first 30 minutes and 32 cents for each additional minute. Parking the car costs 13 cents per minute, and keeping it for a whole day runs $90, although a current offer takes the rate down to $60.
Should a member's travels extend beyond the vehicle's range of 80-100 miles, charging the car (as well as parking) is free at any DriveNow station, and the ID card unlocks hundreds of other charging locations around the Bay Area.
Edmunds says: For those living in urban areas, car-sharing plans like DriveNow provide an opportunity to have access to a vehicle without the expense of owning and storing it.