Despite being months away from production, Chevy unveiled a Volt App for the Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone and Blackberry Storm smartphones. The coolness factor is high, if you have a smartphone.
- displays charge status – plugged in or not, and voltage (120V or 240V)
- provides flexibility to “Charge Now” or schedule charge timing
- displays percentage of battery charge level, electric and total ranges
- allows owner to manually set grid-friendly charge mode for off-peak times when electricity rates are lowest
- sends text or email notifications for charge reminders, interruptions and full charge
- displays miles per gallon, electric only miles, and odometer readings
- shows miles per gallon, EV miles and miles driven for last trip and lifetime
- remotely start the vehicle to pre-condition the interior temperature
The remote start and door unlocking capability work through OnStar, but you can do so through the application, rather than calling into OnStar directly.
Using the remote start to heat up your car in the winter allows you to do so while you are still plugged in (a little bit wasteful, but still understandable). By doing it while you're still plugged in, you can get the most range out of your battery charge.
The application was developed by engineers in the OnStar EV lab, and its been in use by the development team in the prototypes to gather real-time data on the prototypes in use.
Demonstration applications for the Motorola Droid and Blackberry Storm will be available at OnStarMobileDemo.com beginning 10 p.m., EST, January 5. The demonstration application for the Apple iPhone will be available on the iTunes store on January 6.
Hybridcars.com points out other car makers are working up their own applications:
Similar smart phone applications, and remote charging controls, are expected from Nissan for its all-electric Nissan Leaf, and from Toyota for the plug-in version of the Toyota Prius. In August 2009, Ford introducted of an “intelligent” system for drivers to manage charging of its planned electric and plug-in hybrid cars. That system is being installed in 20 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid demo vehicles.