Car sharing venture DriveNow, a partnership between BMW and European rental company Sixt AG, is expected to be profitable this year. The joint venture kicked off two years ago as a competitor to Daimler’s Car2go program going for the same market: car sharing in urban environments.
After setting up in four cities in Germany since its May 2011 start, DriveNow is looking to add a location in the country and another elsewhere in Europe in 2013. According to Andreas Schaaf, the partnership’s managing director, DriveNow is looking at profitability from city to city.
Membership in car-sharing services may surge 20-fold to almost 15 million people in Europe by 2020, according to consulting company Frost & Sullivan.
DriveNow offers a variety of BMW group vehicles, including MINI and even sporty models from M division.
This year, DriveNow will roll out 40 electric-powered Active E models in Berlin and 20 in Munich as part of a test trial to prepare customers for the introduction of the i sub-brand.
In Berlin, DriveNow users will be asked to drive the car to a recharging station when the battery gets too low and receive a bonus as a result, while in Munich the company’s fleet management will recharge the cars overnight.