With the expansion of the ULEZ area in London and other clean air zones planned for other UK cities, Jeep has trialed a Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid automatically switch to electric-only mode when entering city centers.
The ‘Turin Geofencing Lab’ is focused on exploring ways to reduce CO2 emissions and other harmful gases from electric and hybrid vehicles. It is intended to promote the integration of electrified mobility within the city’s restricted traffic zone, ‘Zona a Traffico Limitato’ (ZTL).
With low-emissions zones in the UK either expanding or being planned in cities such as Birmingham, Edinburgh and Cardiff, technology such as this could have a potential impact on thousands of drivers and future-proof their vehicles if ZEZs are considered in a continued effort to reduce emissions nationwide.
The ‘Turin Geofencing Lab’ is being piloted with two Jeep Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid vehicles, fitted with sensors that could preemptively recognize entry into a restricted traffic zone or ULEZ. This recognition system then causes the internal combustion engine to be switched off to guarantee zero-emissions travel in the low-emission zones.
The project, which started in June 2020 and is now entering its final phase, found the Jeep Renegade 4xe models crossed the central Turin ZTL with over 70% of the journeys in electric mode. This led to a clear reduction in the emissions of CO2 and other harmful gasses.
This significant finding underlines the importance of the ‘Turin Geofencing Lab’ – a first of its kind project. The e-Mobility Business Unit of Stellantis has focused on a system that can put a vehicle in contact not only with its driver, but also with the gate management system in a city centre, managed in this case by 5T on behalf of the City of Turin.
In this way – as well as ensuring motorists can enter a ZTL without incurring penalties – the geofencing system built into the cars tracks the vehicles while being driven within the restricted traffic zones, providing the city government Mobility Center with information on which vehicles have actually been traveling at zero emissions.
The data collected in recent months from the Jeep Renegade 4xe trial will be analyzed by the Fiat Research Center S.C.p.A.(CRF) development team and will then be the focus of a final report, to be used to promote the project beyond the bounds of the city.
The ‘Turin Geofencing Lab’ offers a technologically innovative and environmentally sustainable solution, benefitting customers who choose a plug-in hybrid vehicle. It also assists councils in the management of city traffic, and in reducing urban air pollution, which could be replicated in other cities across Europe in the future.