San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and BMW Group board member Dr. Ian Robertson at a new

BMW launches all electric car sharing, DriveNow, in San Francisco

BMW's DriveNow premium car sharing service has launched in the U.S. starting in San Francisco with 70 BMW ActiveE electric cars available for short-term rental.

Some car makers, like BMW, are looking at the future of crowded urban centers with tight parking restrictions, and are looking at repositioning themselves as "mobility service providers." That is, the automakers product/service is "mobility" and the sale of an automobile is only one way to provide mobility to customers. In that vein, BMW is launching its DriveNow program in America starting in San Francisco with a fleet of 70 vehicles. DriveNow is a "premium car sharing service" and is coupled with a mobile parking solution, ParkNow.

The DriveNow fleet in San Francisco consists of 70 ActiveE's, BMW's prototype all electric zero emission car. In January the company started leasing ActiveE's to 700 Electronaut's across the U.S., including many in the SF Bay Area. The ActiveE is built on the BMW series 1 coupe, making it a two-door coupe, with seating for four, and a full trunk in the rear. The 32 kilowatt-hour battery pack provides a 100 mile range, and the 125 kilowatt (170 horsepower) motor provides maximum torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft and 0-60 times of around 8 seconds.

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