BMW hy­brids to switch to bat­tery power in low emis­sion zones

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business -

◆ BMW is in­tro­duc­ing “geo-fenc­ing” so its plug-in hy­brid cars au­to­mat­i­cally switch to bat­tery power when en­ter­ing low-emis­sion zones in the UK, writes Alan Tovey.

The Ger­man com­pany claims its cars are the first to have such an abil­ity, swap­ping over to emis­sion-free mo­tor­ing in des­ig­nated parts of Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham from to­day.

While the cars will switch over to bat­tery power au­to­mat­i­cally, driv­ers can over­ride it in cases such as the charge al­ready hav­ing been run down, although the sys­tem works with the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem to pre­serve power for low-emis­sion zones.

BMW de­scribed the sys­tem “as the so­lu­tion cus­tomers want as they make the switch to elec­tro-mo­bil­ity”, adding that it would help im­prove air qual­ity in cities.

It tested the sys­tem in Rotterdam in the Nether­lands in 2019 be­fore rolling the pro­gramme out to a num­ber of cities across Europe ear­lier this sum­mer.

How­ever, as rules cur­rently stand, plug-in hy­brids will no longer be ex­empt from Lon­don’s con­ges­tion charge from next year, and face a £15 a day cost – even if they are driven only on elec­tric power.

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