When entering an eDrive zone, the vehicle automatically switches to electric driving.
With BMW Points, PHEV customers are motivated in a playful way to exploit the maximum potential of their electric drive.
Important new lessons for eDrive Zones and BMW Points from Rotterdam pilot.
After the idea was born, the first real test for the BMW eDrive Zones function and the digital service myBMW Points was the BMW Group’s “Electric City Drive” pilot project, in conjunction with the City of Rotterdam and the local Erasmus University, in autumn of last year. The project looked at how electric driving in plug-in hybrid vehicles could be promoted in practice with a freely defined green zone and an app that encourages people to charge their cars regularly in a fun way. The aim was to encourage users to make more frequent use of their vehicle’s full electromobility potential.
Around 50 plug-in hybrid drivers from the Rotterdam area volunteered to test the specially developed app. Once installed on the smartphone and synched with the vehicle, whenever the car drove into the eDrive Zone in the Rotterdam city centre, a corresponding message was displayed on the vehicle screen, with a request to switch the drive system to fully electric mode. Over a period of three months, the project monitored the extent to which participants’ pure electric driving increased as a result of this message.
Using a beta version of the myBMW Points app, users were also able to see how they stacked up against others in the project, take part in contests and earn points. The key finding was that PHEV drivers used pure electric mode for over 90 percent of the distance they drove within the Rotterdam eDrive Zone once they had connected the app to the vehicle.
The pilot project also showed that increasing use of plug-in hybrid models with targeted stimulation of electric driving can also make a valuable contribution towards reducing emissions in inner cities, just like fully electric vehicles. The technology used in the trial project inspired further development of BMW eDrive Zones and myBMW Points. Both innovations will soon find their way into BMW series-production vehicles.