BMW Launches ReachNow In Seattle: Does It Surpass Daimler’s Car2Go? – Headlines & Global News

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BMW Launches ReachNow In Seattle: Does It Surpass Daimler’s Car2Go?

By Jelani James | Apr 09, 2016 02:49 PM EDT


BMW has followed through on its plans to throw itself into the car-sharing service foray, announcing Friday that it is launching a car-sharing program, ReachNow, in Seattle, Wash., and setting up the division’s North American headquarters at a Belltown office.

Drivers will now be able to hop in one of the fleet’s 370 vehicles and drop it off in any parking spot within most of Seattle. More importantly, however, the move puts BMW in direct competition with Daimler, which has its own car-sharing service in the area called Car2Go, which, with more than three years under its belt, has already issued a frosty welcome to BMW.

“As the sharing company goes mainstream, we expect followers to see what we saw when we launched here in 2012,” a part of Daimler’s statement reads. “One-way carsharing is a complex business to operate, and any new competitor will have a significant learning curve to contend with.”

However, the statement goes on to say that it believes that the more car-sharing, mass transit and ride-sharing alternatives available, the better because such services help in improving the quality of life by easing traffic and parking congestion. So, the theme of BMW not finding car-sharing an easy business is wrapped in the overall message of ride-sharing being a good thing.

With all this in mind, the development still begs the question of which between the two is the superior service. Sure, Car2Go has been around longer, but that doesn’t mean ReachNow can’t throw a curve ball and totally alter the game.

At the core, they’re quite similar: both services allow drivers to get a car whenever they wish to and charge them by the minute. However, beyond that, there are several key differences (primarily in pricing) that seperate the two. Here is the rundown:


Car2Go utilizes a fleet comprised of Smart’s tiny two-seater vehicles.

In order to use Daimler’s service, drivers have to download the app on their smartphones. They may also contact its customer call center or access the Car Finder map on the Car2Go’s website.

As soon as customers are inside the vehicle, they only have to swipe their member card and answer some queries. From there, its smooth sailing. Once their drive is complete, members simply have to look for a parking spot in the Home Area and end the trip.


ReachNow utilizes a fleet comprised of the BMW 328xi, i3 and Mini Cooper.

Upon downloading the ReachNow app, drivers need to register into the service. When approved, they will be able to find cars to drive, which BMW says are readily available on most Seattle neighborhood streets.

Drivers have to check out if the car’s card reader is green. If so, it means it is available.

They can then drive the car whenever they want to. When done, drivers can park it in any legal space.


Car2Go appears to be the consistent winner in the pricing category, starting with the registration fee, which costs $35, while ReachNow costs $39. It should be noted that ReachNow is waiving this fee for a limited period in an apparent attempt to attract more costumers.

Car2Go continues its advantage in the pricing category with its hourly and daily prices. For example, whereas Car2Go wants $0.41 per minute, $14.99 for an hour and $84.99 for a day, ReachNow costs $0.49 a minute (it says that it’s looking to reduce this price to $0.41) and $110 for a whole day. 


So, which one of the two is better? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for cost effectiveness, then Car2Go is the winner for the most part. There are some exceptions, though, such as ReachNow having specific price points for using its service for three hours ($50) and 12 hours ($80). Technically, this gives ReachNow the advantage, but only within specific brackets.

On the other hand, ReachNow has greater variety in its offerings. Aside from the already mentioned pricing for specific hours, the service offers more vehicles to drive around in if that suits your fancy.

At this point, its too early to tell which one is truly superior. However, things will likely become more clear if ReachNow survives its infancy stage and turns out to be a true competitior in the ride-sharing market later down the road.

BMW Launches ReachNow In Seattle: Does It Surpass Daimler’s Car2Go? – Headlines & Global News