Of all the companies you might have expected to hear was interested in car-sharing in Seattle, surely BMW was not high on that list. And yet the luxury car manufacturer is starting a new business called ReachNow which intends to do just that.
BMW announced Friday it is launching a car-sharing program, ReachNow, in Seattle, and setting up the division’s North American headquarters at a Belltown office.
Drivers will be able to hop in one of the fleet’s 370 vehicles — made up of BMW 3 Series, Mini Cooper or the electric i3 cars — and drop it off in any parking spot within most of Seattle.
The competitor most affected is likely to be Car2Go, whose two-door Smart cars have become commonplace around Seattle. BMW plans to charge 49 cents per minute while driving and 30 cents per minute while parked but their introductory rate will be 41 cents per minute, the exact rate that Car2Go currently charges.
The new service will also have similar boundaries as Car2Go, with a current "home area" between North 105th Street and Northgate Way, south to South Lander Street and west to 15th Avenue West. Magnolia and West Seattle are currently omitted from coverage but are expected to be added in the future.
Car2Go currently has over 75,000 registered members so clearly there's a strong market for rideshare in Seattle. Let's see how BMW can take advantage.
· BMW wants to share in Seattle’s car-sharing boom [ST]
· BMW launches car-sharing program in Seattle [GW]