Remember the pilot project BMW and the city of Rotterdam started earlier this year? You know, the one where drivers of BMW plug-in hybrid models were asked to switch to EV model once they entered the city center? Well, earlier this month Bavarian representatives said they are pondering making it a worldwide thing on all their PHEV models and it looks like they are delivering as BMW eDrive Zones will be set and implemented on all electrified cars from 2020.
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The announcement came today, in Munich, at the NextGen event held at the BMW Welt. How does it work? Well, in cities that establish “green zones” solely for emission-free driving, geofencing technology will be able to recognize them automatically. When the vehicle enters one of these zones, it will automatically switch to pure electric driving mode. In this way, BMW plug-in hybrids should receive the same access rights to green zones as fully-electric vehicles, since they behave the same in these areas.
Of course, there’s a lot to process here and there are a lot of unanswered questions that still linger. For example, what if the car runs out of battery while inside these ‘green zones’? Will the internal combustion engine start or will you be left dead in the water? Does the driver get a choice in this process? If the engine starts in these key areas, are you susceptible to receiving a fine? I guess a lot more answers are on their way but this is a bold move, nonetheless.
It’s also an easy way to cut emissions in heavily populated and dense areas. Increasing the use of electric driving not only optimizes efficiency, but also helps reduce operating costs for customers – especially in city traffic. Color us impressed but also curious to see how this is implemented in real life.