BMW has launched ‘eDrive Zones’ in Birmingham and London – making it the first car manufacturer to use geo-fencing technology that will automatically switch hybrid models to electric power in heavily polluted areas.
Parts of the cities will be marked out using GPS, and if a BMW plug-in hybrid enters one of them it’ll switch to running on electric rather than petrol. Additionally, if the car’s sat nav is used through one of the zones, the vehicle will ensure that the electricity is saved for that part of the trip.
A number of cities and towns are looking at how to reduce pollution and emission levels, bringing in schemes such as London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ), and Pieter Nota, BMW AG board member for customer, brands and sales, said: ‘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 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 a win-win for everyone.’
The tech is to be offered as standard on cars using BMW’s latest operating system, including the 330e, 530e and X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrids. More models are poised to be upgradeable soon with ‘over-the-air’ updates.
The eDrive Zones in London cover the Congestion Charge and ULEZ areas, while in Birmingham it will cover the city’s planned Clean Air Zone, set to be brought in by 2021.
More eDrive Zones are planned by BMW across the UK and Ireland.
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