In the UK, BMW has launched its programme BMW Points rewarding PHEV customers for each electric mile driven. Customers are given charging credit for each electric mile driven in the UK or abroad, and rewards customers who drive electric miles within designated eDrive Zones with double points.
The German carmaker has designated a further six eDrive Zones implemented across the UK, including Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. This includes the Launch of eDrive Zones in the Republic of Ireland with Dublin and Limerick. BMW presented the bonus point system for plug-in hybrids towards the end of last year.
The BMW incentives come at a time when governments across the globe are rethinking their support for plug-in hybrids since studies show that plug-in hybrids are far less effective in reducing emissions than previously thought, and only when used correctly. Last year, in 2020 a report by Fraunhofer and the ICCT, found PHEV to be up to four times more pollutant than type-approved. BMW is clearly trying to encourage its customers to fully utilise the electric engine in combination with its fossil-fuelled motor.
The point system concerns the BMW 330e, BMW 530e, BMW 545e, BMW 745e, BMW X3 30e (produced from August 2021), and BMW X5 45e drivers with BMW Operating System 7.0. Essentially, the programme offers free charging in exchange for driving electric miles. Drivers can earn 2 points for each mile driven electrically and 4 points for each mile driven electrically in a designated eDrive zone.
People driving BMW plug in hybrids and using the BMW Points system are also awarded 20 bonus points every time their vehicle is charged for a minimum of fifteen minutes. In addition, a monthly reward of 500 points for each driver who charges their vehicle twenty times a month for a minimum of fifteen minutes each time.
Once drivers have collected 3,200 points, they will be rewarded with £10 charging credit to be used across the BMW Charging network. At 7,500 points, customers will receive £25 and at 14,500 points a £50 free charging credit.
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