With one year left… Tips on extending the BMW ActiveE experience! – DriveNow

With less than one year to go on my ActiveE experience, I KNOW that I will be jonesing for more ActiveE driving.  I’m sure that the Model S that we have reserved would keep me rEVolutionary.  However, one never forgets ones first…  EV love!

So, what do I recommend?

BMW and Sixt’s JV in San Francisco – drive-now.com.

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My experience with drive-now was not positive because of USER ERROR and not their fault… Though, I was initially irritated with the process.

So, I looked into this product several months ago when they first launched. At the time, drive-now was in a few locations throughout the city of San Francisco and required that subscribers show up to a registration center to join them. This process stuck on MY idea of what the process is. At the time, I provided feedback via the Active E forums that the drive-now should go ahead and provide stations near the airports and/or mail the FOBs to subscribers directly.

Flash forward to when I signed up. Apparently, they listened to my suggestion, but I assumed that they only took the first part of the suggestion which was to locate these centers by the airports. So, I was on a trip a few weeks ago to Napa and thought that it would be fun to rent an Active E for the trip. I was arriving in San Francisco International on Saturday morning and figured to go ahead and sign up for the service on Wednesday prior to my arrival.

Since I had an early lunch seating to make at the French Laundry in Napa, I figured that I would just pick up my rental ActiveE on Sunday as I erroneously assumed that I would be picking up my FOB at the SkyPark Parking, located at 1000 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA.

So, after a fun quick trip to Napa and Sonoma, we proceeded to SkyPark Parking at San Bruno to see if we could rent an Active E and pick up our FOB. So, we drove to the location, and told the folks there that I had just signed up for the service and would like to pick up the FOB from them. I did not properly read the e-mail confirmation of my membership that clearly stated that I should contact customer service should I desire to pick up my FOB at a registration center.

The folks at SkyPark tried to address this issue for me, but were unable to even get the process started.

DriveNow Tablet Error

They couldn’t even pull up the website. As I mentioned, it would appear that had I read the email from the folks at drive-now, I would’ve realized that I was complicit in making this process more complicated, but I do feel that they need to realize that they need to ensure that the parties that represent them should have tools that work. Additionally, it would seem that even if the device worked, the app that they are using is coded in German and they need to re-code it in English for this launch.

Oh well. Needless to say, now that I did receive my packet (the following week after I signed up for the service) I am hoping that my experience will be more positive. I will just have to find myself back in the Bay Area. I am thankful that this program does exist as a hedge for the time that I have to turn my keys in to BMW for the end of my Active E experience. I held out for hope that they would at least offer Active E Electronuts a discount on the sign ups, alas, that did not happen.

So, what do I recommend. First, read their communications. If you are looking to use the service right away, make sure to follow the instructions. Otherwise, if you are flying into San Francisco or Oakland, make sure to at least sign up for drive-now a week or two prior to arrival.

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Dennis

rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model S S85 and a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let's him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb). Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums - teslamotorsclub.com, teslamotors.com, and model3ownersclub.com as AEdennis or on speakev.com as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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