Carsharing programs are becoming more sophisticated and eco-friendly by the minute. In the latest wrinkle, Copenhagen will be the first city to allow members of the DriveNow program to use their public transit cards to rent the vehicles.
DriveNow is launching the service in partnership with Arriva Danmark, the largest bus operator in Copenhagen. Arriva won the competition tendered by the city of Copenhagen last April to operate a free floating carsharing system. One of the main conditions included in the tender was the operation of a 100% electric fleet, aligned with the city’s focus on sustainability and green urban development.
DriveNow is starting the service today (Sept. 3) with an electric car fleet of 400 BMW i3, which will be stationed in the 85-square-kilometer business district and will be available for rental without prior reservation. Good for the spontaneous! Customers will have access to over 600 charging points — all powered with renewable energy — to recharge the cars.
By integrating the DriveNow program with Copenhagen’s public transport system, users can use their electronic transit cards to rent a car as well as pay for the rental with the same account they use for train, bus, and metro tickets. According to the press release, “a next step currently being planned will include the possibility to book the appropriate connecting mode of transportation directly in the car. With a view to the near future, DriveNow would also like to integrate its carsharing service in Copenhagen into the regional public transport system app ‘Rejseplanen.’ ”
On top of that, new members can get pre-approved within minutes, literally. No waiting for the mailman to deliver a special keycard. To sign up, a person simply has to take a photo of their driver’s license and another one of themselves, using the DriveNow app on their smartphone, and hit the send button. Within minutes they will be approved.
DriveNow is a next generation car-share company. Members can pick up cars anywhere the app says they are parked and drop them off anywhere that public parking is allowed within the city.
Additionally, the cars are available at the airport. This means someone flying in can pick up a car at the terminal and drive into the city without the expense of a taxi or wait time.
According to the DriveNow press release, there will be a car available every 300 meters, the same distance as bus stops. The cost will be 3.50 kroner ($0.52) per minute driven. If members decide to park the car for a few minutes continuing the rental, those stationary minutes are charged at 2.5 kroner ($0.37). The maximum charge per hour is capped at 190 kroner ($28.50).
DriveNow is a partnership between BMW and the Sixt car rental service and has services in five cities in Germany. Its cars can also be found in San Francisco, London, and Vienna. And now Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has other carsharing programs, non electric. And one of them, Car2Go, free-floating, operating gasoline-powered Smart cars. The city is also a haven for cyclists and has been designated the most bike friendly in the world, according to the Copenhagenize Design Company, neck and neck with Amsterdam. So adding a green-car-sharing service is in line with the city’s sustainable profile.
It’s definitely car-sharing for the eco-conscious.
[Editor’s note: a previous version of this article names Car2Go as the only carsharing program in Copenhagen before DriveNow]
Copenhagen New Carsharing Integrated With Public Transport