As cities increasingly discuss the introduction of ‘low emission zones’, BMW has made an important contribution to boost the uptake and attractiveness of electromobility among consumers, by launching BMW eDrive Zones in London and Birmingham.
With electric ranges of up to fifty-four miles, BMW plug-in hybrid models are built with cities in mind, as they can complete most commuting trips on pure-electric power. This new technology helps drivers do just that.
BMW eDrive Zones is a new digital service which automates the process of switching to electric-only power when a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle enters a defined area of these cities. The service, unique in the worldwide automotive industry, also automatically ensures that the electric power is conserved for use during the part of the journey within the low emission zone, if the journey destination is entered into the vehicle’s navigation system.
This new technology ensures BMW plug-in hybrid models offer consumers the best of both worlds: electric-only driving in the city, where it makes the most difference and a highly efficient internal combustion engine to cover long distances.
The BMW eDrive Zones service, available as standard on BMW plug-in hybrid models running the latest BMW Operating System 7.0, uses geo-fencing technology via GPS within the vehicle’s navigation system.
The eDrive Zones in London and Birmingham are highlighted graphically on the vehicle’s Central Control Display navigation screen, so drivers can see their location.
This feature, which is enabled in customer vehicles, covers the same geographic area as the TFL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone in London, and Birmingham and will introduce this technology in additional cities across the UK and Ireland in the future.
BMW Group production locations in the UK are also contributing towards the company’s global electromobility goals. BMW Group’s Hams Hall engine manufacturing plant, near Birmingham, assembles three-cylinder and four-cylinder petrol engines that are at the heart of a number of BMW and MINI plug-in hybrid vehicles.
BMW Group currently offers fourteen electrified (as of 2020) vehicles across its brand portfolio. This will be increased to a total of twenty-five electrified models on the road by the end of 2023, with more than half of those models fully electric.