DriveNow, the carsharing joint venture from BMW Group and SIXT, has launched today in Brussels – its tenth European city. The service also operates in London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Vienna.
The car sharing service is launching in the Belgian capital with 300 vehicles occupying a 55km² area. The city follows the usual DriveNow ‘free-floating’ carsharing concept, whereby the cars can be rented and returned to any legal parking space in the business area. In the first phase of launch, the cars will consist of the BMW 1-series, the BMW 2-series Active Tourer, plus the MINI Clubman or Hatch (three-door). Users will pay €0.33 cents per minute while driving and €0.19 cents per minute when the car is parked. Fuel, insurance, taxes and parking costs are all included in the price.
Since Munich became the first DriveNow city in June 2011, the company has grown into the European carsharing market leader and now boasts over 500,000 customers in Germany – a share of almost 40 percent of the overall market and 60 percent of the free-floating segment. Including its members in other European cities, DriveNow now has far in excess of 600,000 customers.
More and more European customers are now taking advantage of the one-appserves-all functionality: drivers can use the same app in each of DriveNow’s ten cities, enabling fully-integrated, door-to-door transport. So whether that’s Londoners travelling to Brussels on the Eurostar, or businessmen flying to London City Airport from Berlin Tegel, DriveNow can provide a hassle-free solution.
Long-term studies like “WiMobil”1 and “EVA-CS”2 are also now demonstrating the key contribution carsharing is making in reducing private car ownership and easing urban transport problems. According to these studies, every DriveNow vehicle has already replaced at least three private vehicles, meaning that the number of private cars in German DriveNow cities has already been reduced by 5,700. This significantly cuts the volume of traffic looking for parking spaces in inner city areas. In Munich, this reduction means 41 million fewer kilometers driven in private vehicles every year, while in Vienna this equates to 44 million fewer kilometers.
“We look back on our five-year success story with pride and great satisfaction. When we launched in 2011, we were just a small start-up team in a single-room office in Munich,” recalls Managing Director Nico Gabriel. “Today, we employ well over 100 people at nine sites and have grown to become the leading German carsharing company in terms of customer numbers.”
Co-Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich, who has also been at DriveNow since day one, adds: “We have always focused on growing healthily and sensibly. The upshot of this strategy is that we have already been able to operate profitably in Germany for two years. Our model has proven its worth, and now the expansion continues. We are looking forward to getting started in Brussels, which will now become our tenth city.”