BMW launches world-first eDrive zones in London and Birmingham

BMW has introduced a system to automatically switch hybrid cars to electric-only when they enter a defined low emission zone in a city.

Initially covering the same geographic area as the TfL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone and Birmingham’s planned Clean Air Zone, works by using geo-fencing via GPS within the vehicle’s navigation system.

The service, which BMW explains is 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.

The carmaker says 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.”

“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 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.”

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