This strategic route could enable BMW to comply with air quality standards set by cities.
On the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW disclosed that it can force its hybrid cars to switch to an electric-only mode in heavily polluted inner-city areas; this strategic move will enable BMW’s vehicles to compete with pure battery-driven rivals.
Significantly, the move comes midst a raft of cities seeking to create emissions-free zones.
“The car switches off the combustion engine automatically,” said Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s board member for development.
Thanks to BMW vehicles’ connectivity and navigation systems, it will be relatively easier for BMW to convert its cars to automatically disable engines, said Froehlich while adding that the new X5 sports utility vehicle has an operating range of 80 kilometers in electric-only mode.
Currently, the carmaker is demonstrating the technology to local authorities in German cities. One of the possible ways BMW could comply to EU clean air rules is to ban heavily polluting diesel cars.
In the wake of VW’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, many cities including Paris, London, and Stuttgart are considering banning of combustion engine vehicles. However with the lack of widespread charging infrastructures, the wide adoption of electric cars by consumers is yet to take place.
In February 2018, Germany’s highest administrative court had ruled, cities could ban diesel vehicles from some streets so as to comply with air quality requirements.