Electric car sharing represents an important pillar of the BMW Group’s efforts to help create a sustainable model for urban mobility, reduce traffic volumes and improve the quality of life in cities.
In order to bring this goal within reach through partnership with cities, the BMW Group set up a Centre of Urban Mobility Competence in early 2015. The team of experts brought together under its roof are working with cities and the relevant stakeholders to develop sustainable concepts for future mobility in urban areas.
At the same time, 100 all-electric BMW i3 electric cars are now available for DriveNow car sharing customers in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. In London the BMW i3 was already added to the DriveNow fleet in May, and other cities in Germany and Europe will soon follow suit.
DriveNow has added more than 470,000 customers around the world over the last four years, including 430,000 in Germany (120,000 in Berlin). Since 2013, DriveNow has been running 60 all-electric BMW ActiveE cars in Munich and Berlin as part of the WiMobil and ePlan research projects. They have performed outstandingly well in day-to-day use and will now be replaced by 40 BMW i3 cars in Berlin, 30 in Hamburg and 30 in Munich. “Our customers have enjoyed using the BMW ActiveE cars as much as the conventional vehicles in our fleet,” says Nico Gabriel, managing director of DriveNow.
Electric car sharing acts as a catalyst for electric mobility
Another key element for the BMW Group is the important role electric car sharing has to play in driving forward electric mobility as a whole in Germany. Vehicles involved in electric car sharing schemes boost the use of charging points in cities – and on a more predictable basis. This rapidly makes electric mobility visible and more easily accessible to local people, turning it from a niche activity into an everyday reality. It breaks down barriers and eases the pathway into electric mobility.
eCarsharing is an important component of sustainable urban mobility concepts
Electric mobility and car sharing represent two important building blocks for the BMW Group when it comes to working with cities to develop revolutionary mobility concepts.
The quality of life in our increasingly densely populated cities can be improved significantly by putting public spaces to different use. One way we can achieve this is by freeing up a large portion of the parking areas currently required. To make this possible, mobility concepts and frameworks need to be in place which can spark people’s enthusiasm for urban mobility beyond their own car. Local public transport continues to provide the backbone of mobility services in urban areas. Complementing local public transport with car sharing schemes and other modes of transport, and creating seamless intermodal connections, allows people to use all the routes through a city. This results in a significant reduction in the volume of cars looking for parking spaces and in the number of parking spaces required, not to mention improvements in air quality and noise emissions.
The recently published main points of the German federal government’s car sharing legislation fundamentally address this approach. The legislation enables cities to offer parking privileges for car sharers over private car users in the public interest. On the assumption that these kinds of incentives apply in equal measure for users of station-based and non-station-based car sharing, cities would be able to make substantial progress when it comes to extending the reach of sustainable mobility.
The same applies to Germany’s electric mobility legislation, which, among other things, gives cities the option of designating parking areas exclusively for electric vehicles. This can also help local authorities meet their aims when it comes to limiting vehicle emissions. Indeed, authorities can combine such an approach with a well-thought-through strategy for sustainable urban development to set the tone and embark on a course towards creating an environment that provides a higher quality of life.