As cities increasingly discuss the introduction of “low emission zones”, BMW has made an important contribution to boost the uptake and attractiveness of electromobility among consumers through its BMW eDrive Zones, which launched in London and Birmingham in July 2020.

Since then, BMW have continued to develop further eDrive zones in both the UK and Ireland. With 13 further UK locations and three in Ireland, there are now 18 dedicated eDrive Zones across the UK and Ireland. The rollout does not stop here and BMW will continue to develop this technology and add further cities in the future.

What' more, with electric ranges of up to 54 miles, BMW plug-in hybrid models are built with cities in mind, as they can complete most commuting trips on pure-electric power. The BMW eDrive zones help drivers do just that.

BMW eDrive Zones are a digital service that automates the process of switching to electric-only power when a BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle enters a defined area of these cities. The service, unique in the worldwide automotive industry, also automatically ensures that the electric power is conserved for use during the part of the journey within the low emission zone, if the journey destination is entered into the vehicle’s navigation system.

This technology ensures BMW plug-in hybrid models offer consumers the best of both worlds: electric-only driving in the city, where it makes the most difference and a highly efficient internal combustion engine to cover long distances.

“This is the flexibility that customers want, as they make the transition to electromobility” said Pieter Nota, BMW AG board member for Customer, Brands, Sales commenting on the UK launch of BMW eDrive Zones.

“A plug-in hybrid vehicle combines the best of two worlds: emission-free city-driving as well as long-distance capabilities. We urge governments to prioritise plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to encourage consumers.BMW eDrive Zones technology supports customers to drive as efficiently as possible in London and Birmingham. It improves air quality in cities fast and reduces running costs for drivers. It’s win-win for everyone”, Nota added.


The BMW eDrive Zones service, available as standard on BMW plug-in hybrid models running the latest BMW Operating System 7.0, works using geo-fencing technology via GPS within the vehicle’s navigation system. The eDrive Zones are highlighted graphically on the vehicle’s Central Control Display navigation screen, so drivers can see their location.

This feature, which is enabled in customer vehicles as of today, covers the same geographic area as the TFL Congestion Charge/ULEZ zone in London, while in Birmingham the service covers the city’s Clean Air Zone. BMW eDrive zones can also be found in Aberdeen, Bath, Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and Sheffield. In Ireland, BMW eDrive zones are in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

The BMW eDrive Zones service is now available as standard on BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 545e, BMW 745e, BMW X3 xDrive30e and BMW X5 xDrive45e, with additional compatible models launching in the future. BMW eDrive Zones have also been made available via a free over-the-air software update for compatible BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles, meaning existing customers can also benefit from this technology.


The BMW Points programme, which rewards Plug-in Hybrid* drivers for every mile driven in pure electric, is also avalaible across the UK. This new initiative gives BMW drivers two BMW points for every electric mile, with double points (4) available in areas defined as BMW eDrive zones. The collected BMW points can be converted into a credit that can be redeemed at BMW Charging public charging stations when charging your high voltage battery. Discover more about the new BMW Points programme.


The significant contribution plug-in hybrid vehicles can make to reducing tailpipe emissions in cities was demonstrated in an early trial of this technology, carried out in the Netherlands in 2018. Results of this research project showed 90 per cent of all routes within the trial zone in Rotterdam were driven in electric-only mode.

BMW Group production locations in the UK are also contributing towards the company’s global electromobility goals. BMW Group’s Hams Hall engine manufacturing plant, near Birmingham, assembles three-cylinder and four-cylinder petrol engines that are at the heart of a number of BMW Plug-in Hybrid vehicles.

Discover more about BMW’s all-electric models and plug-in hybrid models.

* BMW Points is available for technically eligible (not all) BMW Plug-in Hybrid models. Ask your retailer for details. Participation also requires a BMW Connected Drive account & My BMW app. UK residents. Redemption of points at BMW charging stations requires a BMW Charging contract. Points cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash. Terms and conditions apply.