BMW has launched the BMW eDrive Zones in London and Birmingham, UK, a new digital service that automates the process of switching to electric-only power when a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle enters specific areas in the city.

The service automatically ensures that electric power is conserved for use within the low emission zone, if the destination is entered into the vehicle’s navigation system.

“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 win-win for everyone”, said BMW.

The BMW eDrive Zones service is available as standard on BMW plug-in hybrid models running the latest BMW Operating System 7.0. It uses geo-fencing technology via GPS within the vehicle’s navigation system.

This feature which has been enabled in customer vehicles 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 available as standard on BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 745e, and BMW X5 xDrive45e with additional compatible models launching in the future. The service is also available for free in existing BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles with over-the-air software updates.

The significant contribution by plug-in hybrid vehicles in reducing tailpipe emissions in cities was demonstrated in an early trial carried out in the Netherlands in 2018. Results of this research project showed 90% of all routes within the trial zone in Rotterdam were driven in electric-only mode.


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Pan Eu Jin
Regularly spend countless hours online looking at cars and parts I can't afford to buy. How a car makes you feel behind the wheel should be more important than the brand it represents - unless resale value is your thing.