BMW has announced that its new hybrid models will have a feature that makes them automatically switch off their combustion engines in areas that are heavily polluted like inner city areas. They will use pure electric driving mode in order to cut vehicle emissions.
Currently, the automotive industry is struggling to boost the sales of electric vehicles . Electric vehicles accounted for only 1.5 per cent of total car sales on a global basis in 2018. BMW’s announcement of the engine cutoff function is expected to increase its sale of EVs as such a feature would optimize the environmental impact of hybrid cars.
Consumers are reluctant to buy purely electric cars due to many factors like lack of adequate charging infrastructure, the limited range of electric vehicles and the longer time needed for recharging when compared to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
Scaling up adoption of electric cars is not easy. Many cities are struggling to enhance their electric infrastructure as huge investment is needed ensure that new charging stations can handle powering up vehicle batteries at scale.
Even Ruesselsheim in Germany, where carmaker Opel is based, needed to apply for state aid to build 1,300 charging stations.
Hybrid vehicles have the capacity to recharge the electric battery while operating in combustion-engine mode. Hence, customers have less worry about limited operating range, and it reduces the pressure on cities to expand charging infrastructure.
BMW’s new hybrids will have the cut off function from 2020 onwards and cities, including Rotterdam in the Netherlands, say the function has proven to be an effective way to cut pollution.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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