Page Overview: BMW Group - Innovation - Electromobility - eDrive Zones
Electromobility BMW eDrive Zones.

In electric mode, plug-in hybrid models and vehicles with a pure electric drive train drive locally emission-free and virtually silently through the city. In this way, they also help improve quality of life in urban settings. The BMW Group is using innovative digital services to help increase the amount of electric driving by plug-in hybrid models. BMW eDrive Zones is the only function of its kind worldwide to automatically switch the vehicle to electric drive mode whenever it enters a green zone.  


The BMW eDrive Zones digital service is now available as standard in various BMW Group plug-in hybrid models. BMW eDrive Zones trigger an automatic change to the purely electric operating mode as soon as the vehicle enters a designated area, e.g. low emission zones.

The BMW eDrive Zones service uses geo-fencing technology via GPS. Switching to the purely electric driving mode is automatic. When the service is activated, each available eDrive Zone on the navigation map is graphically highlighted in the Control Display.

In addition to reducing emissions, the increasing share of electric driving also contributes to a reduction in operating costs for the driver. A purely electric trip results in significantly lower energy costs than using the combustion engine as is shown by comparative calculations for current plug-in hybrid models. This applies particularly to city traffic, where electric power consistently achieves a higher level of efficiency than a petrol or diesel engine.

Our cars will become even more efficient, cleaner – and yet still more agile and dynamic – in the future. Sheer driving pleasure will remain the same.

Oliver Zipse

Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

BMW Navigationssystem

eDrive Zones

When entering an eDrive zone, the vehicle automatically switches to electric driving.


Alongside the BMW eDrive Zones function, the BMW Group will also use a new kind of digital service called BMW Points to further encourage electric driving among its plug-in hybrid customers. The BMW Points app motivates PHEV customers in a fun way to exploit the maximum potential of their electric drive train: Points are awarded for every kilometre driven on electric power, with an extra bonus in designated eDrive Zones. BMW Points can also be earned by charging the high-voltage battery. In this way, drivers are motivated by their competitive spirit and environmental awareness to choose electric power wherever possible. Once enough points have been accumulated, participants can redeem them for attractive rewards. The BMW Points digital service will be available for BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles through the BMW Connected Drive App Store in 2020. 


Better quality of life.

With the at the moment still manual activation of electric drive mode, users can help reduce emissions and traffic noise in cities. 


Electric driving in the city is cheaper than petrol or diesel as long as the vehicle is charged at home or the workplace.

Perfect temperature.

Always the right temperature when you get in: Parking heater and stationary cooling come as standard.

Braking brings benefits. recharging the battery: In conventional cars, all braking does is produce heat and brake abrasion.  

The best of both worlds.

Plug-in hybrids deliver electric driving fun in the city and classic BMW driving fun over long distances.

Safely into the future.

Because plug-in hybrids can drive emission-free, they can enter green zones, enjoy parking privileges and save on tolls.


BMW 330d in Rotterdam

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.