BMW has for the first time in Ireland launched its eDrive Zone technology, a new digital service, which it claims automatically switches a plug-in hybrid vehicle to electric-only power when it enters a defined area of a city.
Now active in Dublin and Limerick, the German car brand says it has plans to launch its eDrive Zones in Cork and Galway in the coming year.
A BMW eDrive Zone automatically ensures that electric power is conserved for use during the part of the journey within defined zones, but only if the journey destination is entered into the vehicle’s navigation system.
BMW Group Ireland's managing director, Kevin Davidson, says 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 type of flexibility that customers want, as they make the transition to electromobility,” he says. “A plug-in hybrid vehicle combines the best of two worlds: emission-free city-driving as well as long-distance capabilities. “We urge the Irish Government to prioritise plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to achieve the shared objective of reducing CO2 emissions.
“This technology will help improve air quality in cities around Ireland and also reduces running costs for drivers. It’s win-win for everyone.”
In addition, there are plans in progress to introduce the BMW Points loyalty programme in Ireland, where drivers of BMW plug-in hybrid models will be rewarded with offerings via a point system. This has already been launched to BMW customers in Britain.
Every electrically driven kilometre will count and within an eDrive Zone, twice as many points can be collected, BMW says.
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 Dublin and Limerick are highlighted graphically on the vehicle’s central control display navigation screen, so drivers can see their location.
BMW says the eDrive Zones service is available on the BMW 330e, 530e, 545e, 745e, X3 30e (produced from August 2021 ) and X5 45e with BMW Operating System 7.0. Additional compatible models will be launching in the future, it adds.
BMW eDrive Zones has also been made available via a free over-the-air software update for compatible BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles, which means existing customers can also benefit from this technology.