Our friend Richard Aucock publishes an interesting article on a new and green technology from BMW: ECO PRO. Introduced with the 2012 BMW 1 Series, the new driving mode called ECO PRO can be utilized whilst driving in everyday traffic. ECO PRO mode is activated by what is called the ‘Driving Experience Control’ switch. The ECO PRO mode is standard in the new 1 series and 3 Series, and to the four and six cylinder models of the 6er and 5er Sedan and Touring.

To learn more about the ECO PRO, let’s see an excerpt from Aucock’s informative write-up:

“More than just an electronic ‘badge’ that are usually an intriguing gimmick for a few weeks but then forgotten, ECO PRO offers tangible benefits that offer the potential for game-changing developments in the future.

It is opt-in: drivers must select ECO PRO from the BMW drive select switch (‘anti-Sport’ as one engineer dubbed it). Doing so does three things:

  • Selects bespoke settings within engine ECU

  • Optimises electric load

  • Displays ECO PRO screen

The electric load saver function is meritorious in itself. No mainstream maker has fitted a function that dials back the electrical consumption of accessories such as electric seats and heated rear window: a bit like the National Grid cutting power delivery to your house.

The interactive element is the snazzy bit. All the time you are consuming less fuel than the car’s combined average, the famed BMW economy gauge (now electronically represented) dives into the blue zone. Blue means you’re saving fuel – and the deeper you can get it in there, the more fuel you’re saving.

There’s more. To make it tangible, an additional readout, also in blue, shows how many miles more you’re getting from the tank. This is the ingenious part: the more you take it steady, the more miles you eek out.

It is reset each time you refuel, so is stored even if you turn the engine off. Thus, a permanent incentive to save fuel and claw the miles back. A savings account that’s in your hands – so if you want a ‘free’ 50-mile’ trip on the weekended, ease off to claw back the miles.”

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