Today, April 8, 2016, BMW launched a new premium program called ReachNow, a car-sharing service that lets people get a car whenever they need one in the city of Seattle just by downloading the app, which is available both in the App Store and Google Play. The company also announced the set-up of the North American headquarters of the program in the city, at a Belltown office, planning to expand their services to three additional cities in 2016, as well as having the intentions to serve 10 U.S. cities, in total.
ReachNow has a sustainable mobility solution, offering people the ability to get a car from owners that are able to rent them out when they are not in use, using a convenient booking platform, for either a short period of time or a longer-term rental, where people can either ask for a longer period or extend the length of the time while having the car already, just by using the app.
This is the first time the program is available in the U.S. It has delivery service where people can ask for a specific vehicle, for extra levels of convenience, and can assure them that certain cars are available. People can have access to chauffeur services if require, for those who do not wish to drive themselves. Companies and residential groups have car sharing too, having exclusive cars for employees or residential complexes that can remain on site.
As convenient as owning a car
Asides from the fact that owners and users can have a very efficient booking platform to work with, people will find a fast registration method on the ReachNow app, that will allow them to register in two minutes or less, getting an almost instant approval. Members can search and find, as well as a book, the closest available car on the app, or just find one on the street.
The initial fleet will be of 370 vehicles, and it will include the BMW i3, the BMW 3Series, and the MINI Cooper. Cars will be located on the streets of Seattle for immediate use. The company is trying to expand and include Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in their services.
A member of the Board of Management, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said at the launch of the program in Seattle, “We are currently witnessing an extremely exciting period in the development of the automotive industry. Our customers rightly expect uncomplicated and fast solutions to their individual mobility needs, especially in metropolitan regions. This is why we are supplementing our classic business model with additional services that make life on the road easier for people in big cities. I am pleased that with the establishment of the ReachNow brand, we are able to offer our customers in Seattle “on-demand mobility” – mobility when it’s needed, from one single source. With this service, we are building up on Drive Now, our extremely successful European business model, and bringing it up to a new level in the U.S. Seattle is an innovative, internationally-oriented city which makes it the perfect location to launch these services.”
Technology partner and rates
RideCell, leading provider of fleet automation software, has been selected by ReachNow as its partner in technology. This provider is going to help ReachNow initiate and order quickly the services, including demand, supply, and pricing.
The registration fee is $39, being a one-time registration and lasting a lifetime. The charges for renting a car will have a rate of $0.49 (cents) per minute of use, and $0.30 (cents) per minute while parked.
ReachNow has an introductory offer of $0.41 (cents) for each minute people use the car rented, and registration is free of charge. The prices include insurance, fuel, parking meter charges in designated areas, and taxes and fees. It also offers the opportunity of paying $50 for 3 hours of use, $80 for 12 hours, and $110 for 24 hours.
Seattle was selected by the company as the pilot market because, recently, it was ranked by ChargePoint, the largest electric vehicle charging network, as the third city that used electric vehicles the most. Because of it, BMW was looking to experiment with its greener mobility services ideas and try to find solutions for a better and easier life, in this city.
According to Mayor Ed Murray, a car-charing service is a good way to satisfy the demands of Seattle residents who need more transportation options, besides also helping them avoid “the expenses of owning their own vehicle”. He also added that BMW’s car sharing service also helps promote the use of electric vehicles, offering them as “another great option to get around Seattle.”
Central Seattle will be the main area where ReachNow will start serving, from North 105th Street to South Lander Street, omitting Magnolia. The company will try to expand, as soon as possible, its services to this place and West Seattle.
Source: BMW Blog