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BMW i3 / i8 / ActiveE
Are you excited about the upcoming BMW i3 or i8? Interested in learning more about the BMW ActiveE? This is the place for you!

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Old 07-05-2012, 04:58 PM
mr_clueless's Avatar
mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,848
Mein Auto: 2014 328i
BMW ActiveE Car Share in SF

BMW ActiveE Available for Car Sharing in San Francisco

The luxury automaker has brought its DriveNow program to San Francisco, California with the service opening up for business at the end of June. While there have been programs around the country where you could rent a luxury car for a few hours or a day (and yes, Zipcar has luxury cars), BMW is the first luxury automaker to run its own car sharing operation here in the U.S.

Here's how DriveNow works:
  • 70 ActiveE electric cars are available for hourly rental
  • Parked at 9 garages in the San Francisco area
  • Licensed drivers over 21 may rent the cars
  • $12/half-hour with each additional driving minute costing $.32
  • $90 for an entire day up to 180 miles
Source Yahoo Finance

Next time I'm in SF, I will try this just so I can drive one. I wish they had
this program for all of their cars. In fact, I wish all luxury manufacturers offered
something like this. For a couple of hundred I could test drive the car for several
hours to make sure it's what I want (especially in terms of long range comfort
which I can't do on a regular test drive).

2014 328i / Liquid Blue / Beige Leatherette / 4 DR / 6 MT / Moonroof / Rear Camera + PDC / Xenons / DHP / 12K+ Miles / Bought 10-16-2013
2003 325i / Gray Green / Beige Leatherette / 4 DR / 5 MT / Moonroof / 219K+ Miles / Bought 12-21-2002 / Sold 10-21-2013
1998 Civic EX / Vogue Silver / Gray / 4 DR / 5 MT / 122K+ Miles / Bought 12-30-1997 / Totaled 08-2002
1988 Sentra / Gray / Gray / 2 DR / 4 MT / 190K+ Miles / Bought 06-1994 @ 120K+ Miles / Died 12-1997

Last edited by tim330i; 07-06-2012 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:18 PM
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TheCritic TheCritic is offline
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Location: Southern California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 443
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW X3
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post

Next time I'm in SF, I will try this just so I can drive one. I wish they had
this program for all of their cars. In fact, I wish all luxury manufacturers offered
something like this. For a couple of hundred I could test drive the car for several
hours to make sure it's what I want (especially in terms of long range comfort
which I can't do on a regular test drive).

Right there with you on both counts, I'm thinking about visiting SF just to try this out!

It's always disappointed me BMW doesn't start by making better use of service loaners. A Merc owner was just telling me about how every time he was in for service they made sure to give him something at least one level above what he brought in, and a salesman always chatted with him about it when he brought it back. OK, that's a bit annoying--and the fact that this was always during yet another unscheduled service visit for my friend put him off... BUT with the free maintenance and great warranty BMW drivers tend to be in better, more receptive moods. Yet every single loaner I ever got from my dealership was a stripped 3, the lowest of the low.

The tour/drive events BMW recently had for the new 3 were nice, but too limiting in terms of a short set route/time in car.
2007 X3 3.0i, Monaco Blue with black leather. AT, Sport: 19" staggered replaced with longer lasting 18", Premium, NAV, Heated Seats.
Previous: 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited ; 1999 Mercury 'new' Cougar ; 1987 Mercury Merkur XR4ti
BMWCCA Member since 10/2008
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:31 AM
WineCountry WineCountry is offline
Location: San Francisco, CA
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 103
Mein Auto: 135i Coupe
Well, took my first drive around SF tonight in a DriveNow ActiveE! Have to say I was impressed! I have a 135 and a 650, so this was basically just for fun. Registered last week online, took Muni down to one of the host parking garages (found using the iphone app) where they gave me my DriveNow ID with the microchip to open the cars. After that I was free to jump into any of the little 1's waiting for me and take off for a joy ride! One of the garage valet's suggested I take "Billy" which was #13 (apparently each car has a name) because it was the cleanest and nobody else had driven it yet. I jumped in and took off... First thought was "oh my god, this really does feel like a BMW!" Aside from the obvious lack of noise or gear changing, it really drives like a true BMW! Even the lighter steering gave great feedback. The throttle is obviously programmed to give a realistic feel so that it doesn't drive like a golf-cart. The extra thousand pounds were hardly noticeable as far as handling goes... BMW clearly beefed up the suspension to handle the extra weight of the electric components. It's definitely not as quick as I expected (and even worse in Eco-Pro mode), but still very zippy and totally appropriate for SF. The cabin is much quieter than I anticipated, and it made for a very peaceful drive. I brought it up to 80mph on the highway and it was totally doable. I circled the city then went over the golden gate bridge into Sausalito for dinner. In total drove about 22 miles and used a 1/4 "tank". The strangest thing about the car is that you almost NEVER use the brakes. There is such strong regenerative braking that you can coast abruptly to a full stop at a red light from 40 mph without ever touching the brakes. The car seemed to have almost all the features that my regular 1 has, so was impressed by that. I did happen to pop the trunk and found only enough room for a tiny gym bag.
Returning the car was just as simple. Picked a garage (all of them are saved in the address book of each car's nav system) and brought it back. Ending the reservation was just as easy as starting it. The little touch screen is pretty easy to use, but the whole process from start to finish of unlocking, starting the car, and using the touchscreen to end the reservation could potentially be confusing to anyone not tech-savvy. I suppose random people probably aren't trying this service anyway, so it probably doesn't matter. My friend who was with me (non-BMW driver) also pointed out that nobody will be able to figure out the iDrive in the short time they drive the car unless they're a BMW driver (he didn't) . Overall it was a good experience which I just might do again one day
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2015 M6GC -ED Sept 24
2012 650i
2013 X5M
2009 135i- Sold
2012 550i
2008 650i Convertible- Sold
2007 550i- Sold
2006 750i- Sold
2004 545i- Returned/Lemon Law
2001 330ci- Sold
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activee, car share, drivenow, electric bmw, green tech, san francisco, test drive

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