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  • Rotterdam bei Sonnenaufgang

    Rotterdam: Minimum CO2, Maximum Fun 

    How can you reduce CO2 emissions in a modern metropolis, without banishing transport and relinquishing comfort?

    Rotterdam has come up with a fun way to achieve great results here.

  • In theory, it’s obvious: if you drive a plug-in hybrid, you simply switch to pure electric mode to reduce CO2 pollution. It makes sense, as an electric drive is very convenient and performs particularly well on short routes with frequent stop-and-go traffic.

    But in reality, there is a problem: the drivers are only human. They often don’t think to switch the drive mode. In collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam and the city of Rotterdam, BMW investigated how to get plug-in hybrid drivers to switch to the electric engine at the right time. With by-laws? Bans? Or benefits? No. Gamification is the name of the solution that took to the streets in the 2019 Electric City Drive pilot project. The aim was to make the whole thing fun with elements of play. As Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins so eloquently put it, “in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun” – that is gamification in a nutshell.

    Drivers of plug-in hybrid cars often forget to switch to e-mode.
  • Fun anyone? In pursuit of points in Rotterdam.

    Junger Mann hält Handy in der Hand und freut sich über die App Electric driving is even more fun with this app.

    An app has been developed for BMW and MINI plug-in hybrid drivers. It uses geofencing technology to send a notification to the infotainment screen every time the vehicle enters a certain area of Rotterdam. The driver is then expected to switch to electric mode. As an additional incentive, the driver earns a point for every kilometre driven in electric mode in the inner-city area. Participants can also score points outside of this zone: an additional point is available for five kilometres driven in e-mode and for every 10% of battery recharge. In so doing, drivers can amass points and win attractive prizes.

    90% of the route in electric mode.

    The developers also played on the drivers’ passion for collecting points through competitions. Who can collect the most points in a day? Who charges their battery more frequently than others? The Electric City Drive project didn’t just appeal to people’s minds – it spoke to their hearts. It became common sense to drivers. It drove their ambition. The result? Participants switched to electric for around 90% of the route within the defined zone. This pilot project proves that car drivers are definitely able to change their behaviour when given the right motivation. And not with dos and don'ts, but with a fun approach.

  • Electric-powered inland vessels for the port city

    Rotterdam is innovating on the water as well as the roads. Two electric-powered vessels transport supplies to the major port city. As most vessels run on heavy fuel oil with no exhaust technology, this step is seen as a milestone for the entire industry. It cost more than 100 million euros to develop the two Port-Liner vessels. This investment was worth it, as there is now a pure-electric solution with 8% more cargo capacity than their diesel-driven counterparts. The batteries can be charged in just four hours and can run for 35 hours.

    Electrified commercial vehicles

    This kind of innovation plays a key role in Rotterdam making its mark as a driving force behind increased sustainability. And this is just the beginning. There is still so much untapped potential, for example in the electrification of commercial vehicles. Webasto offers pioneering standard battery systems here. They are high performance, safe and modular, so they can be used in any kind of vehicle. This technology is set to propel Rotterdam into the future – and the rest of the world with it.

    Elektrische Schiffe laden an der Ladestation For a sustainable world, not only cars but all vehicles have to be electrified.
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