BMW introducing “ecological geofencing” for it’s hybrid vehicles, automatically switching from fuel-burning to electric motor when it enters urban and environmental sensitive zones

Available in 80 European cities.

eeNews Automotive »

In various plug-in hybrid models from BMW, drivers now can preset so-called “e-drive zones”. When the car enters such an inner-city low emission zone, it automatically switches from combustion to electric mode. For this purpose, the vehicles use geofencing technology via GPS, in which an area is predefined on the map by means of coordinates. The zone is then graphically displayed to the driver on his navigation device. Within this area, the car drives electrically for as long as the battery’s state of charge permits. If the battery’s energy reserves run out, the system switches back to the combustion engine. The driver receives a corresponding signal in the Control Display. […]

Air pollution and CO2 levels fall significantly during Coronavirus pandemic forced slowdown

Matt McGrath, BBC »

Emissions of carbon monoxide, mainly due to cars and trucks, have fallen by around 50% for a couple of days this week according to researchers at Columbia University.

They have also found that there was a 5-10% drop in CO2 over New York and a solid drop in methane as well.

“New York has had exceptionally high carbon monoxide numbers for the last year and a half,” said Prof Róisín Commane, from Columbia University, who carried out the New York air monitoring work.

“And this is the cleanest I have ever seen it. It’s is less than half of what we normally see in March.” […]

BMW Group to offer five ‘all-electric’ models by end of 2021, 25 ‘electrified’ models by 2023

BMW i3

BMW i3

The BMW Group includes BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce.

From BMW Group’s fourth-quarter results statement »

By the end of 2021, the company intends to have more than one million vehicles with all-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the roads. At that stage, the BMW Group will offer five all-electric series production vehicles. Alongside the BMW i3, demand for which increased for the sixth year in succession, production of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE* was commenced at the Oxford plant (UK) towards the end of 2019. The BMW iX3 will go into production this year at the plant in Shenyang, China, followed in 2021 by the BMW iNEXT in Dingolfing, Germany, and the BMW i4 at the Munich plant – all of which will be equipped with fifth-generation electric drivetrain technology.

By 2023, the BMW Group will already have 25 electrified models on the roads – more than half of them all-electric. The key to achieving this objective is having intelligent vehicle architectures that, with the aid of a highly flexible production system, enable a model to be powered fully electrically, as a plug-in hybrid or with a combustion engine. With these prerequisites in place, the company is in an ideal position to meet demand in each relevant market segment and offer its customers a genuine power of choice between the various drive types. By 2021, demand for electrified vehicles is predicted to double compared to 2019. The BMW Group then expects to see a steep growth curve up to 2025, with sales of electrified vehicles growing on average by more than 30 per cent p.a.

In its announcement, BMW also targeted a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by  this year.

The BMW Group is continuously working to reduce the CO2-emissions of its new car fleet. The company has always lived up to its voluntary commitment and will achieve the CO2 fleet target for its European new car registrations also this year. This is around 20 percent below last year´s target. One third of that step can be achieved by further improvements to conventional drivetrain systems and two-thirds by the growth in the field of electrified vehicles. The BMW Group’s endeavours to meet future mandatory CO2 and fuel consumption limits are therefore based on the combined impact of Efficient Dynamics technologies – which have been deployed by the BMW Group since 2007 – and the ongoing electrification of vehicles.

[Updated] Study concludes that harmful particle matter from tire wear is significantly higher than emissions coming from the tailpipes of modern fuel-burning vehicles

EMI-Blog-LargeSUV-685x400.jpg

A report by Emissions Analytics, an independent emissions-testing agency based in Oxford, England, has concluded that tire wear emissions can be 1,000 times worse than the pollution coming out of a modern fuel-burning vehicle’s tailpipe.

Emissions Analytics » (Press Release)

Pollution from tyre wear can be 1,000 times worse than what comes out of a car’s exhaust, Emissions Analytics has found.

Harmful particle matter from tyres – and also brakes – is a very serious and growing environmental problem, one that is being exacerbated by the increasing popularity of large, heavy vehicles such as SUVs, and growing demand for electric vehicles, which are heavier than standard cars because of their batteries.

What’s more, vehicle tyre wear pollution is completely unregulated, unlike exhaust emissions which have been rapidly reduced by car makers thanks to the pressure placed on them by European emissions standards. New cars now emit very little in the way of particulate matter but there is growing concern around ‘non-exhaust emissions’.

More » Paul Tan’s Automotive News, Green Car Reports, CNET


Updated March 12, 2020

Autoblog made light of this important environmental study by posting this photo with their report. The photo has since been removed.

European Space Agency » Greenland and Antarctica losing ice six times faster than expected

Why is this important » Rising sea levels. This is why we need to change our ways and adopt clean energy.

European Space Agency »

According to a new report, Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s – currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case climate warming scenario.

The findings, published in two separate papers in Nature, show that Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017 – pushing global sea levels up by 17.8 millimetres.

Of the total sea level rise coming from melting polar ice sheets, around 60% (10.6 millimetres) was due to Greenland ice losses and 40% was due to Antarctica (7.2 millimetres).

The combined rate of ice loss has risen by a factor of six in just three decades, up from 81 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 475 billion tonnes per year in the 2010s. This means that polar ice sheets are now responsible for a third of all sea level rise.

WMO Report » It’s official » The last five years were the warmest ever recorded

By Blair Trewin, Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Pep Canadell, CSIRO

The World Meteorological Organisation today published a definitive climate report card showing concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise, and the last five years were the warmest on record.

The Statement on the State of the Global Climate also confirmed that the ongoing drought and recent bushfires in Australia were a globally significant climate event.

The report is an annual, comprehensive overview of the latest information from the world’s meteorological services and other key institutions. We are among the many authors who contributed.

It’s an important record of the magnitude and speed of changes to global climate, drawing on the latest data from across the fields of climate science.

Continue reading

New proposals to make the EU carbon-neutral by 2050

The European Commission has proposed a law to make the European Union carbon-neutral by 2050. Such measures would drive forward development in renewable energy technologies, including electric vehicles.

The proposed legislation would empower the commission to set binding short-term climate targets that don’t need unanimous approval from all 27 member states.

Policy analysts believe some countries could strongly oppose these measures, so the current draft is unlikely to be approved without substantial amendments. On the flip side, climate activists, including Greta Thunberg, claim the new measures do not extend far enough.

More » Nature

The desire for larger passenger cars means drivers are producing more carbon dioxide

Jasper Jolly, The Guardian »

New cars sold in the UK produce more carbon dioxide than older models, according to new research that suggests the industry is going backwards in tackling the climate crisis.

Cars that reach the latest standards of emissions use cleaner internal combustion engine technology to combat air pollution, but the relentless rise in demand for bigger, heavier models meant that average emissions of the greenhouse gas rose, according to the consumer group Which?

The latest generation of cars produced 7% more emissions than those manufactured to earlier standards, testing of 292 models released in the UK since 2017 found. Cars account for just over 18% of UK emissions, according to government figures, and reining back pollution from the sector is seen as crucial to efforts to cut the country’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race

Patrick Greenfield and Jonathan Watts, The Guardian »

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.

The study implicitly condemns the US bank’s own investment strategy and highlights growing concerns among major Wall Street institutions about the financial and reputational risks of continued funding of carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas.

JP Morgan has provided $75bn (£61bn) in financial services to the companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement, according to analysis compiled for the Guardian last year.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits, and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change

On February 17th, 2020, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced over Instagram that he was donating US$10 billion to a new organization called Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change. Bezos wrote »

Today, I’m thrilled to announce I am launching the Bezos Earth Fund.⁣⁣⁣
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Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share. This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. We can save Earth. It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals. ⁣⁣⁣
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I’m committing $10 billion to start and will begin issuing grants this summer. Earth is the one thing we all have in common — let’s protect it, together.⁣⁣⁣
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– Jeff

Reuters »

The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative.

“It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations, and individuals,” Bezos said.

Counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for U.S. billionaires in recent years, with Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer counted among the world’s wealthiest environmental philanthropists. ⁣⁣⁣ Last year, Bezos pledged to make online retailer Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040 – the first major corporation to announce such a goal – and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from U.S. vehicle design and manufacturing startup Rivian Automotive LLC.

More » Amazon, Electrek, CNBC, VOX