DriveNow Expanding In San Fransisco

DriveNow, BMW’s premium car-sharing program, will expand to offer street parking in multiple neighborhoods in San Francisco, beginning in areas of the Mission District.

The program will also add 80 electric BMW ActiveE vehicles to the existing fleet, increasing the total number of ActiveE vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area to 150.

BMW said DriveNow members will have the opportunity to name the 80 electric vehicles in a two-week social media challenge.

Later this month in the Mission District, DriveNow explained, members will be able to use the DriveNow app or Web site to locate, reserve and park cars on specific streets between Potrero Avenue and Folsom Street and between 16th Street and 26th Street. DriveNow members will be informed by the in-car screen and the DriveNow app which streets are in a “green zone,” or a DriveNow drop-off zone, designating that it is approved for parking. If a DriveNow member attempts to end a reservation in a non-sanctioned DriveNow drop-off zone, the in-car screen will alert the driver that the reservation cannot be ended, and if applicable, help identify the appropriate streets for parking.

“DriveNow with street parking is available in several cities across Europe, and it has been a very successful business model, so we are pleased to bring street parking to the U.S.,” said Richard Steinberg, CEO of DriveNow USA. “By expanding our offerings in San Francisco, our members will find it is more convenient than ever to find and park a DriveNow vehicle.”

The 80 vehicles, from members of BMW’s Electronaut program who previously leased the ActiveEs, will be available on San Francisco streets and at 17 DriveNow locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, including Palo Alto, the San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport, said the carsharing company. DriveNow stated it is also working on additional station expansion around the Bay Area, including San Jose International Airport.

DriveNow added its community is invited to name the 80 additional ActiveE vehicles through a two-week challenge on Facebook and Twitter to help develop personalities for the new electric cars. Submissions for the new ActiveE names should follow this protocol:

Use the letters “A” and “E,” as in “ActiveE”;

Use the letters “E” and “V,” as in “electric vehicle”; or

Use the letters “B,” “E” and “V,” as in “battery electric vehicle.”

The letters could be used consecutively or as first and last names, such as ArchiE, EVita, BEVerly or Escape Vehicle. The selected names will appear on the car sticker, in the DriveNow app and on the DriveNow website.

The social media challenge is open May 9-23, 2014.

By the end of the year, DriveNow said it has committed to extend street parking to include areas of Bernal Heights, Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, North Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square and Potrero Hill in San Francisco.