BMW Testing Hybrid Cars to Switch to Electric-Only Mode in Polluted Cities
The company is currently demonstrating the technology to local authorities in German cities
Photo from Ukrinform
BMW said it can force its hybrid cars to switch to an electric-only mode in heavily polluted inner-city areas, helping its vehicles compete with pure battery-driven rivals, as cities seek to create emissions-free zones, Reuters reports.
“The car switches off the combustion engine automatically,” BMW’s board member for development, Klaus Froehlich, said at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Cars can be converted to automatically disable engines, because of BMW vehicles’ connectivity and navigation systems, Froehlich said, adding that the new X5 sports utility vehicle has an operating range of 80 kilometers in electric-only mode.
BMW is currently demonstrating the technology to local authorities in German cities, who may be forced to ban heavily polluting diesel cars as a way to meet European Union clean air rules.
A global crackdown on vehicle pollution in the wake of Volkswagen’s 2015 diesel emissions cheating scandal has prompted cities including London, Paris and Stuttgart to consider bans on combustion engine vehicles.
Germany’s highest administrative court in February ruled cities could ban diesel vehicles from some streets in order to improve air quality.
Electric cars aren’t very popular at the moment because of a lack of charging infrastructure. Thus, hybrids are a more attractive option for many people.
Such a vehicle could be very important in regions such as Europe, where most drivers do not own multiple cars for different uses, Froehlich said.