Free Now is a mobility service owned jointly by Mercedes and BMW. What we call a mobility service today used to be known as a taxi company. The difference is that a mobility service uses a smartphone app to match up taxis with riders and handle payment. (There are also now taxi apps that do that.)
What is called Free Now today is a conglomeration of two prior app-based ride-hailing companies –mytaxi and Hailo. According to Wikipedia, mytaxi was founded in 2009 in Germany. In 2014, it was acquired by Mercedes-Benz. Hailo began in London in 2011 and merged with mytaxi in 2016, making mytaxi the largest licensed taxi e-hailing service in Europe and the UK. In February 2019, BMW became a partner with Mercedes and the name of the company was changed to Free Now.
According to a report by Handlesblatt, Free Now has decided to expand its fleet of electric taxis in Germany and will begin by adding 60 Teslas to its inventory of cars in Hamburg, which is where Free Now has its headquarters. The news report does not specify which Tesla models will be added to the fleet, but it’s a good bet that most if not all of them will be Model 3s.
Free Now is big business. It has about 28,000 drivers throughout Europe and the UK and experienced a 20% increase in ridership in Germany last year. It grossed over €2 billion in revenues in 2019 from 300 million trips by 39 million passengers. In all, it has 1,800 employees in 35 cities.
It is laudable that the company wants to expand its electric car fleet but sad that neither Mercedes nor BMW has electric cars of their own they consider up to the task. So, the score in the electric taxi revolution stands at Tesla 60, Mercedes and BMW 0. There’s no clearer indication of who is leading the charge toward an electric car future than that.
More electric taxi stories:
- Las Vegas Taxi Company Orders Hundreds Of Teslas
- German Taxi Operator Plans To Add 50 Tesla Model 3s To Its Fleet
- Tesla Model 3 Becomes 1st 100% Electric Taxi Cab Approved By NYC
- Yellow Cab Getting 10 Tesla Model 3s In Columbus, Ohio
- BYD Delivers The First Of 1,500 Taxis To Colón, Panama