Electric Cars Get a Boost with BMW Vehicle Sharing Program

| August 27, 2012

BMW board member Ian Robertson and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (via BMW).

August 27, 2012 — After taking a hit in the form of sign regulation and image, the electric car industry is again resurfacing — with the help of a little car company called BMW.  The automobile giant launched its electric car share program DriveNow in Germany last year, and in June, opened it to the United States, bringing 70 electric vehicles to the Bay Area.  Last week, BMW announced plans to bring the initiative to San Francisco in September.

DriveNow is a car sharing program with a twist.  It places fully electric, zero emission cars at stations around its host cities.  Launched in Germany in 2011, DriveNow calls home Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, and now San Francisco and the Bay Area.  Working together with ParkNow, a mobile app that allows users to reserve parking spots, DriveNow services about 45,000 members looking to optimize their driving and parking, while doing some good for the environment.

Reservation sign from MyParkingSign.comAs EVs are increasingly used, regulations pop up regarding charging stations and signage (via MyParkingSign).

Electronic cars are powered by an electric motor, that replaces the pollution-causing gasoline engine.  The “gas” pedal becomes an accelerator pedal which, when pressured, directs a controller that releases energy to the motor.  The energy itself is stored in rechargeable batteries, which may be recharged by various sources including the increasingly popular electronic vehicle (or EV) parking spot.

An electric car charges while parked (via the Wall Street Journal).

DriveNow is one among many initiatives to make the electronic car more mainstream.  As automobile manufacturers increase EV driving range and decrease charging wait time, and as car sharing programs like BMW’s are implemented, the electrically powered car could dominate the industry.  Cheaper to operate, emitting no pollution, and decreasing American dependence on oil, the electric car is a real alternative to gasoline-using cars.

– R. Fogel

Category: Green Parking, News