BMW has launched a new digital service that automates the process of switching to electric-only power when a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle enters a low emission zone in London and Birmingham.
The service, which is called BMW eDrive Zones¬, also automatically ensures that the electric power is conserved for use during the part of the journey that will be undertaken in the low emission zone, if the journey destination is entered into the vehicle’s navigation system.
BMW says that the new technology ensures their 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, works using 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 as of today, covers the same geographic area as the TFL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone in London, while in Birmingham the service covers the city’s planned Clean Air Zone, which is due to be implemented in 2021. BMW plans to introduce this technology in additional cities across the UK and Ireland in the future.
The BMW eDrive Zones service is now available as standard on BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 745e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with additional compatible models launching in the future. BMW eDrive Zones have also been made available via a free over-the-air software update for compatible BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles, meaning existing customers can also benefit from this technology.
‘This is the flexibility that customers want, as they make the transition to electromobility,’ said Pieter Nota, BMW AG board member for Customer, Brands, Sales commenting on the UK launch of BMW eDrive Zones.
‘A plug-in hybrid vehicle combines the best of two worlds: emission-free city-driving as well as long-distance capabilities. We urge governments to prioritise plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to encourage consumers.
‘BMW eDrive Zones technology supports customers to drive as efficiently as possible in London and Birmingham. It improves air quality in cities fast and reduces running costs for drivers. It’s win-win for everyone.’
Image: Alena Veasey / Shutterstock.com.