In order to help its plug-in hybrid models compete with fully electric rivals when it comes to cities featuring emissions-free zones, BMW could force the likes of the new X5 PHEV to intelligently switch to an electric-only mode depending on its location.
“The car switches off the combustion engine automatically,” stated BMW board member Klaus Froehlich during an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The X5 plug-in hybrid for example has an operating EV range of 50 miles (80 km).
Cars would know when to automatically disable their internal combustion engines thanks to BMW’s clever connectivity and navigation systems, reports Automotive News.
The Bavarian automaker is currently demonstrating such technology to local authorities in German cities which might end up banning diesel vehicles in order to meet stringent European Union clean air rules. However, multiple cities in Europe have gone as far as to consider banning ICE-powered vehicles entirely, something that would of course take place over time, and not necessarily in the very near future.
Yet, car buyers are still hesitant in purchasing fully-electric models due to a lack of charging infrastructure in most countries, meaning that plug-in hybrids could represent a more attractive option for the time being.
PHEVs could therefore be a great solution in Europe, where most drivers don’t own multiple cars for different uses, added Froehlich.