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MINI South Africa will launch MINI Sharing with the first all-electric MINI in May 2021. Starting in Sandton, Johannesburg, the service will be available to both MINI and non-MINI drivers who register to use the service at the pilot site.
The local MINI Sharing pilot programme is based at BlackBrick in Sandton, a “vertical village” on the centrally located Fredman Drive. The MINI Sharing service is available exclusively to residents of BlackBrick, and members of the BlackBrick Club. This collaboration follows the successful market introduction in September 2020 of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE in South Africa.
Electric driving. MINIFIED.
“Since 1959, MINI has been the brand designed with the city in mind. With the introduction of the MINI Cooper SE, this authentic urban lifestyle brand is able to play its role in shaping the electrified future of urban mobility with the typical MINI go-kart feeling – now with zero emissions,” said Peter van Binsbergen, CEO of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
“It is fitting that the innovative MINI Sharing scheme will be available to residents and members of Sandton’s pioneering BlackBrick initiative. We are proud to showcase MINI’s advancement of urban mobility in South Africa, as well as its willingness to engage in the growing sharing economy in this country,” Van Binsbergen concluded.
How MINI Sharing will work in South Africa.
Because the South African application of MINI Sharing will be different to the model seen in other countries, a special MINI Sharing app has been developed for use in South Africa.
Users can register to the MINI Sharing app in a matter of minutes. After using their iOS or Android-enabled smartphones to download the app, they will go through a process to verify their driving licence and credit card details.
Once the details have been verified, guest drivers will be able to reserve a timeslot, using the app’s built-in calendar function. The selected smartphone acts as the car key, and a Bluetooth connection between the smartphone and the MINI makes it possible to open the vehicle doors and start the engine by pressing the start /stop toggle switch. This has the added benefit of making interaction possible between the car and smartphone without an internet connection.
The MINI will be returned to the specified parking area and locked via the smartphone to complete the journey. The MINI Sharing App will generate a report with the travel data required for billing. Where necessary, the fee will be calculated based on a combination of mileage and time, and all prices are inclusive of insurance, electricity, toll fees and other associated costs.