As cities increasingly discuss the introduction of “low emission zones”, BMW launches BMW eDrive Zones in London and Birmingham. With electric ranges of up to 54 miles, BMW plug-in hybrid models are built with cities in mind, as they can complete most commuting trips on pure-electric power. This new technology helps drivers do just that.

BMW eDrive Zones is a new digital service which automates the process of switching to electric-only power when a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle enters a defined area of these cities. The service, 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 BMW eDrive Zones service, available as standard on BMW plug-in hybrid models running the latest BMW Operating System 7.0, uses geo-fencing technology via GPS within the vehicle’s navigation system. The eDrive Zones in London and Birmingham are highlighted graphically on the vehicle’s Central Control Display navigation screen, so drivers can see their location.

This feature, which is enabled in customer vehicles as of today, covers the same geographic area as the TFL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone in London, whilst 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 now available as standard on BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 745e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with additional compatible models launching in the future. BMW eDrive Zones has also been made available via a free over-the-air software update for compatible BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles, meaning existing customers can also benefit from this technology.

BMW Group currently offers 14 electrified vehicles across its brand portfolio. This will be increased to a total of 25 electrified models on the road by the end of 2023, with more than half of those models fully electric.