As auto mechanics specializing in foreign cars, we’re car nerds. We admit it. We love the latest and greatest thing. That’s why we’re so excited about all the advancements in electric car technology. Not only is it good for the environment — but, well, it’s super cool.
And though we specialize in European cars, we technically drive them in America (Cincinnati to be specific). We also hear from our customers that they are excited about electric cars too. But they’re not yet a practical option. As the primary family car, an electric vehicle needs to be able to go long distances (especially in Ohio). And so far, there just isn’t a charging station ecosystem functional enough yet to make an electric a practical option for the average family.
That’s why we’re super excited to hear that Mercedes and BMW are teaming up to increase car charging and ride sharing service options in Europe and North America.
The New Electric Age
Under its X-Now umbrella, BMW launched a number of services at the launch of the BMW i3 electric car back in 2014: Drive Now for car sharing in some European Cities, ReachNow for car sharing and ride hailing in the U.S. (started in 2016), and ChargeNow for charging.
“Ultimately, we want to offer our customers as many options as possible for getting from A to B. In short, this is about driving, riding or being driven,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, in a statement announcing the joint venture.
BMW and Mercedes will now partner to increase and evolve those services collaboratively, with the exception of Drive Now.
A Billion Dollar Partnership
Rebranding the services in all-caps, the companies have jointly invested more than $1.1 billion into the project. The project will involve a number of existing companies globally owned by the two brands, including Car2Go in the U.S., Kapten in France, and Beat in Mexico.
Green Car Reports notes that the collaborative services will include:
“- ReachNow in offers an app that will let BMW and Mercedes electric-car drivers in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, access car-sharing and ride hailing services, and even bike rentals to get to their final destination, for example if they have to charge someplace that is too far to walk in a city. You can even find a bus or trolley.
– ChargeNow is an integrated system to find and pay for available and compatible chargers and operates in 25 countries.
– ParkNow helps users find, reserve, and pay for parking, for example in city garages. Mercedes cites studies showing that 30 percent of urban traffic comes from drivers looking for parking.
– FreeNow includes services like chauffeur-driven ride-sharing in France.
– ShareNow incorporates similar services.”
The companies will also work together to develop self driving car technology.
So if you’re looking to join the electric car revolution, car manufacturers are willing to work together to make it possible. And that’s good news, especially when it comes to our children and the challenge of adapting our society to the realities of climate change.