BMW and Daimler have now combined their mobility services as announced. The two companies are investing more than one billion euros to expand further and closely interlink their existing car sharing, namely Car2Go and DriveNow as well as ride-hailing, parking, charging and multi-modality services.
The EU approved the most prominent of the joint ventures, that of the car sharing merger of DriveNow and Car2go in November last year. The organisation will be headquartered in Berlin to make the most of the “hub of creativity and innovation” in the German capital, according to the companies.
The group effort comprises five joint ventures, namely ReachNow (multimodal transport), ChargeNow (charging), FreeNow (ride-hailing), ParkNow (parking), and ShareNow (car-sharing, DriveNow and Car2go).
In detail, ReachNow currently gives 6.7 million people access to a multimodal mobility platform that provides mobility services for getting from A to B via apps. Users may purchase tickets for local transit providers as well as pay for car-sharing, ride-hailing or rental bikes. Daniela Gerd tom Markotten will head ReachNow; Johannes Prantl will be CFO.
ChargeNow is a service of Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS) and has a network of more than 100,000 charging points in 25 countries. More than 250 individual charging station operators are currently active, claims the company.
ParkNow is a service that enables customers to find parking solutions, reserve parking spaces, control parking time, drive in and out of car parks without tickets and automatically pay parking fees without cash. ChargeNow and ParkNow are led by Jörg Reimann as CEO and Thomas Menzel as CFO.
FreeNow is an established ride-hailer in Europe and Latin America, which can be used to organise taxi rides, connect private drivers with rental cars or e-scooters via an app. Marc Berg will lead the service, CFO is Sebastian Hofelich.
ShareNow is a free-floating car-sharing service with currently more than four million users. The fleet includes 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities worldwide. Olivier Reppert was appointed CEO and Stefan Glebke CFO.
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars described the intentions of both BMW and Daimler, saying that by creating this network of joint ventures the companies “will be able to shape current and future urban mobility and draw maximum benefit from the opportunities opened up by digitalization, shared services and the increasing mobility needs of our customers”. He also pointed to the possibility of “further cooperations with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players”.
Harald Krüger, Management Board Chairman of BMW, said that the two Germany companies currently have 60 million customers who, “will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services”. He closed with the vision for a “single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport,” but did not specify timelines for these developments.