BMW expands eDrive Zones to 138 European cities
Using geofencing technology and GPS, BMW lets its plug-in hybrids switch to zero-emission pure electric drive automatically when possible in so-called ‘eDrive Zones’. These zones are extended to 138 European cities today, and BMW will add another 30 next year.
BMW plug-in hybrid drivers get ‘ bonus points’ for ChargeNow credits for each all-electric kilometer driven and double when in a designated eDrive zone. Plug-in hybrids make sense only when it comes to sustainability when driven electric to the maximum extend.
No ‘fake hybrids’ anymore
This way, BMW tries to convince its PHEV drivers to charge their vehicles regularly and tackle criticism of being ‘fake hybrids’. Many PHEV drivers didn’t even bother to charge their cars and drove on fuel only.
Last year, for example, a report by the Fraunhofer Institute and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found PHEV vehicles this way to be up to four times more pollutant than the type-approval indicated.
More stringent standards
These so-called ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids in Belgium caused new, more stringent requirements for PHEVs to comply with to be eligible for tax benefits. Their CO2 emissions have to be less than 50 g/km, and their battery pack capacity has to be sufficiently significant, 0,5 kWh per 100 kg of car weight. A better system would have been to have PHEV drivers prove how many kilometers they effectively drive fully electric.
With eDrive Zones, BMW provides an easy way to do that. Belgium was one of the pilot countries for introducing the new technology in March last year, together with Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Today there are eDrive zones defined in Belgium in Antwerp, Mons, Charleroi, Namur, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven and Liège.
20 more cities added
The 20 latest cities to be added are Aberdeen, Bregenz, Brescia, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Copenhagen, Cork, Coventry, Florence, Klagenfurt, Lille, Matosinhos, Naples, Oeiras, Oxford, Sheffield, St. Pölten, Toulouse, and Verona.
BMW first introduced the technology on the new BMW 3 Series, the company’s historically best-sold model, and the PHEV versions of the X5 and 7 Series. It became standard on all following models.
80 electric trips around the equator
BMW says its eDrive technology puts a PHEV into electric driving mode around 30 000 times per day in Europe. 75% of all trips in an eDrive Zone are completed in electric driving mode already today., the company claims. Some 40% have their PHEV already in electric mode when entering. Another 35% is switched to electric automatically by eDrive.
“In the last quarter alone, BMW plug-in hybrid models drove an additional 3,3 million kilometers in electric driving mode within eDrive Zones. That is equivalent to more than 80 trips around the equator – electrically instead of previously using the combustion engine,” BMW claims.