This is an industry-first.
As more cities start to embrace low-emissions zones, BMW has launched a new 'eDrive Zones' digital service in the UK. Available for all BMW plug-in hybrid models including the BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X5 PHEVs with the latest BMW Operating System 7.0 installed, the new digital service automatically switches the powertrain to fully electric mode if the system detects the car is driving through a designated low emissions zone in Birmingham and London. BMW is planning to expand the service to more cities in the future.
With electric ranges of up to 54 miles, this will enable drivers to complete city commutes completely emissions-free and use the combustion engine for long-distance journeys. BMW's eDrive Zones service uses GPS geo-fencing technology within the navigation system mapped to recognize the TFL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone in London. In Birmingham, the service can be used when the city's planned Clean Air Zone opens in 2021.
"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. "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 prioritize plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to encourage consumers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. BMW eDrive Zones technology supports customers to drive emission free in London and Birmingham. It improves air quality in cities fast and reduces running costs for drivers. It's win-win for everyone."
BMW's eDrive Zones service is available as standard on BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 745e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with more models supporting the service in the future. For existing owners of BMW plug-in hybrids, the BMW eDrive Zones can be added as part of a free over-the-air software update. The technology was first trialed in the Netherlands in 2018, with results showing 90 percent of all routes within the emissions-free zone were driven in electric-only mode.