BMW has released geofence technology for its plug-in hybrid range. The system, fitted to all new PHEV models, allows the vehicle to automatically switch to electric mode when reaching certain designated areas.
The BMW eDrive Zones service has been rolled out 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, and X5 plug-in hybrids. Those current drivers of PHEVs running the BMW Operating System 7 can also upgrade via a free over-the-air update.
Launching with zones in London and Birmingham, geofencing technology is likely to quickly expand to incorporate the expected low emission zones scheduled to be implemented in many towns and cities across the UK.
Should there be battery charge available, the PHEV will recognise that it is about to enter a zone and switch to electric power alone. When the trip is entered into the satellite navigation system, the BMW will also hold enough charge during the journey to complete the electric-only segments.
London’s TfL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone is one area pre-programmed, while Birmingham’s planned Clear Air Zone is also active. Additional locations will be added in due course, all with the area clearly visible on the navigation system.