Page Overview: BMW Group - Innovation - Technology and Mobility - Electro-mobility
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Electro-mobility

Ready to face the future.

Solving challenges with innovations.

The BMW Group adopts a broad, flexible approach to best meet the new challenges of changing mobility needs, today and in the future. This ensures that both customer wishes and future legal requirements can be taken into account.

Fast-growing megacities, on the one hand, and dwindling resources and challenging legal stipulations, on the other, demand innovative concepts and flexibility.

BMW edrive zones.

PHEV-Fleet

New digital features help to maximize the electric driving power of the fourth-generation BMW plug-in hybrid models. The latest unique innovation allow drivers to contribute actively to improving the quality of life in the urban environment by traveling even more frequently in cities without emissions and noise. 

BMW EDRIVE ZONES – AUTOMATICALLY EMISSION-FREE IN THE CITY.

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.

eDrive Zones

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

Drivers earn and redeem electric bonus points with BMW Points.

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. 

PHEVs from the BMW Group already offer significant benefits.

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. 

Money-saving.

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.

...by 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.

Important new lessons for eDrive Zones and BMW Points from Rotterdam pilot.

Auto 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.

BMW eDrive Technology.

BMW eDrive Technology

Power from hydrogen.

BMW i Hydrogen NEXT

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are able to offer unrestricted zero-emission mobility with similar usage characteristics to conventional vehicles: Refuelling times of under four minutes, long range, no compromises in terms of comfort, suitability for towing and very little dependence on climatic conditions, which means customers enjoy a long operating range in summer and winter alike. To make all of this possible, a hydrogen infrastructure fit for the job in hand is needed. In most countries, such supply infrastructures are still in the early stages of development.

The BMW Group is conducting active research into improved concepts with the potential to reduce costs, such as innovative tank and refueling technologies combined with new fuel cell cooling concept and supports the setup of the infrastructure.

The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT provides an initial glimpse of a BMW X5 based small series planned to be presented in 2022 with the next generation of this technology. The BMW Group would start offering fuel cell vehicles for customers in 2025 at the earliest, but the timing very much depends on market requirements and overall conditions.

 

Milestone: over 100,000 electrified vehicles sold.

Electric mobility is currently the main strategic focus of the BMW Group. In 2017, we reached an important milestone on the road to sustainable mobility: The BMW Group has delivered more than 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers worldwide in 2017, as promised at the beginning of the year. Overall, sales of our BMWi models together with BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric plug-in hybrids increased by two-thirds over the previous year. To celebrate this success, an eye-catching light installation transformed the BMW Group headquarters, the world-famous “Four-Cylinder” in the north of Munich, on the evening of 18 December 2017 into a battery.

INTEGRATION OF E-MOBILITY IN THE PRODUCTION SYSTEM.

 

The BMW Group is the pioneer in electromobility. The company’s Leipzig plant began building the fully-electric BMW i3 in 2013. Today, the BMW Group produces cars with combustion engines on the same lines as plug-in hybrids at ten locations worldwide. Three battery plants in Germany, the US and China supply local production of electrified vehicles with batteries. In the future, production of fully-electric vehicles will also be integrated into existing manufacturing structures.

The battery cell technology of the future is taking shape at the BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Centre.

The BMW Group is building on its leading position in the world of electric mobility and has pooled its many years of experience with battery cells and extensive knowledge in the field in a new Competence Centre. The purpose of the facility in Munich is to advance battery cell technology and carefully dissect the production processes. 

The new Competence Centre maps the entire value chain of battery cell technology – from research and development to a cell’s composition and design, and its suitability for large-scale manufacture. The facility brings together the full breadth of the company’s expertise and lays the foundations for adding to it. The short distances and cross-functional collaboration at work here will enable complete, transparent and sustainable development of battery cells. Here, it is important that consideration is given to the issue of recycling from the outset.

The new Battery Cell Competence Centre puts us in an enviable position. Taking the technology currently in the BMW i3 as a basis, by 2030 we will be able to double the energy density of our battery cells – and therefore also the operating range of the vehicles for our customers.

Oliver Zipse

Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

welding
Loading, storing and testing the battery cell
Stack the electrodes

BMW i – BORN ELECTRIC.

A free-standing blue BMW i8.

With a vehicle concept geared towards maximum efficiency, advanced drive technology and consistently intelligent energy management, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is the spearhead of Efficient Dynamics. It combines the driving characteristics of a sports car with the fuel economy of a small car and therefore symbolises 21st century driving pleasure. 

The BMW i8 consistently stands for sheer driving pleasure in the 21st century.

A free-standing grey BMW i3.

The first pure battery-electric series-produced BMW, the BMW i3, has been on the market since 2013. The LifeDrive architecture with a carbon-fibre passenger compartment and an aluminium module for the drive train, battery and suspension as well as energy management with ECO PRO driving mode and Route-ahead assistant for maximum efficiency – these are all impressive examples of how innovative technologies can work well together.

View of the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics vehicle.

The BMW Group already showed back in 2009 with its initial BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept vehicle that future fuel economy and emission-reduction requirements were compatible with signature BMW driving pleasure. 

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.