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As cities increasingly discuss the introduction of “low emission zones”, BMW is making another important contribution to boost the uptake and attractiveness of electromobility among consumers, by launching 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.

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 commenting on the UK launch of BMW eDrive Zones. “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 win-win for everyone”, Nota added.

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.

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