DriveNow - the new flexible car sharing service from BMW Group and Sixt SE – today rolled out a fleet of BMW i3s across North and East London.
The 30 fully electric, Congestion Charge-exempt BMW i3s are complemented by DriveNow’s existing pool of 240 BMWs and MINIs.
Cars are available for pick-up and drop-off anywhere in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Haringey and Waltham Forest. Further expansion into adjoining London boroughs is planned, as well as up to 20 new cities worldwide.
DriveNow has been working closely with Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London’s office to encourage greater uptake of car clubs in the city.
Matthew Pencharz, senior advisor environment and energy to the Mayor of London, said: “We’re pleased to see car club providers like DriveNow playing their part in increasing availability of electric vehicles in London.
“Their increased use will lower vehicle emissions and improve air quality in our city, and we welcome the launch of DriveNow’s new fleet.
“We would like to encourage Londoners to consider car club memberships like these as an option for the occasional short trip.”
DriveNow aims to make flexible car sharing a part of London life. There’s no pre-booking necessary – DriveNow customers open the app on their phone, find the nearest car, unlock it through the app and go.
At the end of the trip, just find the nearest available parking space, lock the car using the app, and the journey is complete.
The service launched in 2011 in Germany and already has more than 450,000 customers in eight cities across the world, making over half a million trips per month.
By harnessing demand for vehicle services in the fast-growing global ‘sharing economy’, DriveNow aims to provide a sustainable service that reduces emissions and traffic volume in large cities.
Customer surveys in Germany are already yielding interesting results: 38% of German DriveNow users have now sold their previous car thanks to the service.
Joseph Seal-Driver, managing director of DriveNow UK, said: “We’re excited to bring an accessible electric car sharing service to Londoners for the first time.
“DriveNow is committed to giving Londoners a competitive, emission-free alternative to traditional transport methods.
“Our customers call us ‘Boris Bikes for BMWs’ and they aren’t far off.”