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BMW and Mercedes are working together on ride-sharing services

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© Mercedes-Benz

BMW and Daimler, two of the largest automotive companies from Germany, are bringing their Car2Go and DriveNow Car-Sharing services under one roof. But anyone who thought that there will be only one common service at the end is mistaken: there are five of them.

BMW and Daimler presented their new cooperation at a press conference in Berlin. The two companies are merging their respective services from different areas, which are currently used by around 60 million people. Initially, five different joint ventures will emerge, all of which will end with "Now".

These are the differences between the five new sharing services from BMW and Mercedes:

  • Reach Now: An app that bundles different types of mobility in order to get from A to B as comfortably as possible. In addition to classic car sharing, this also includes rental bikes and ride sharing. Payment is also handled directly via Reach Now.
  • Charge Now: The focus here is on charging stations for electric cars. With Charge Now they can be found quickly and easily. A total of around 100,000 EV charging stations in 25 countries are listed from the start.
  • Park Now: The aim of Park Now is to make it easier for drivers to find parking spaces, whether in the city or outside. With Park Now, drivers can use appropriately equipped multistorey car parks and garages without getting a ticket - payment is made automatically via the app.
  • Free Now: Free Now is also about getting from A to B, but more as a passenger than a driver. Taxis, chauffeur services and car rides are shown here, as well as e-scooters. Free Now will connect 21 million users and 250,000 drivers from the start.
  • Share Now: The two car sharing services DriveNow and Car2Go merge in Share Now. Share Now will be used by 4 million people and the vehicle fleet currently includes 20,000 cars in 31 cities.

The investment sum, which both have brought to the table, is enormous. One billion euros will initially flow into the joint Car-Sharing adventure. The new Now services are just the beginning - they are intended to serve as a basis for new ideas which will shape the mobility of the future.

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Harald Brüger (BMW, center) and Dieter Zetsche (Daimler, right) in Berlin / © NextPit

BMW and Mercedes remain competitors

The joint activities of BMW and Daimler are based in Berlin. There and at other locations, around 1,000 new jobs are to be created in this area in the coming years. Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says: "As a premium manufacturer, we have long set standards in the automotive industry and for our customers. In the premium vehicle segment, we will both [BMW and Mercedes, editor's note] continue to fight for customers. But our new portfolio for individual urban mobility on demand is a logical extension of our business. In the end we want to offer the customer as many options as possible to get from A to B. In short, it's about driving or being driven."

BMW Chairman Harald Krüger also took the same stance: "We are creating a worldwide game changer. [...] We have a clear vision: these five services will be increasingly interdependent and form a single mobility platform with a fleet of electric, self-driving cars that can charge and park automatically and are linked to other means of transportation."

What do you think of the decision by BMW and Daimler to work together on car sharing services? Let us know in the comments.

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