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GM is making apps that will allow the driver of the upcoming Chevy Volt to communicate with it remotely via their Blackberry or iPhone.  (Source: GM via Mobile Magazine)

2011 Chevy Volt electric plug-in  (Source: Popular Science)
Chevy Volt? There's an app for that!

The 2011 Chevy Volt is one of the most highly anticipated vehicles to date.  The public is very interested to see how the American-made electric plug-in vehicle can compete in an already tight market.  However, even as GM engineers tweak and ready the Volt, one concern is the $40,000 price tag (about $32,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit).

In order to counter hesitancy at the price, GM is trying to pack tech into the car and give it more of a luxury feel.  One recently announced initiative is to offer apps for Blackberry phones and iPhones that will allows Volt owners to communicate with their vehicle on the go and gain information on its status.  The applications will soon be revealed, according to sources at GM.

From the screen capture of a presentation by Brent Dewar was the VP of Chevrolet at the 2009 LA Auto Show, it appears the app will feature alerts about the vehicle's charging status.  Nissan has announced a similar app for its upcoming 2011 Nissan Leaf EV.  The Nissan Leaf sends the driver text messages as well, so it should be interesting if those kinds of features pop up in the Volt app as well.

The new app will likely be tied into the new advanced form of OnStar that's being developed for the Volt.  Reportedly similar to Ford's SYNC technology, the new OnStar will perform a diverse set of functions.  Among the most intriguing are its recently announced ability to track utility rates and its ability to be programmed to pick the lowest-cost charging time over a certain time-period.  In all the feature should help to protect Volt drivers from surprises on their electric bill.

Considering how essential charging efficiently and staying charged is to making EV ownership a pleasant experience, its good to see GM working so hard on these problem areas.  It looks like 2011 will be the year when your mass-market car starts talking back to your phone.



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How about
By chmilz on 12/13/2009 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 1
They just finish building this epic failure first, so it can die a miserable death and we can watch new companies like Tesla and Fisker leapfrog them.




RE: How about
By puckalicious on 12/13/2009 10:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt will handily outsell anything from Fisker and Tesla.

By the time Tesla is able to build and sell the sedan (whitestar?) in any respectable volume the Volt will be on version 2.0 with a cheaper and longer range battery, with possibly a BEV only version (no gas generator).

A small startup can't compete with the economies of scale that GM or any large OEM has at it's disposal. The Nissan Leaf will be the biggest competitor to the Volt.


RE: How about
By gregpet on 12/14/2009 5:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Where is all of the outrage over giving Tesla & Fisker hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars (I think $1B+ all together)???

At least with GM you have a chnace of getting some of it back - oh yeah, maybe $6B by the end of the year!

And yes, I know they have billions to go but I'd say its a pretty good start...


RE: How about
By 67STANG on 12/14/2009 5:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. The $6B they are paying back is from other borrowed money. And no, you don't have much of a chance getting it back from GM.

They are betting the farm on the Volt and by the time it comes to market, it not only will be over-priced, it will have been beat to the market by others.


RE: How about
By Alexvrb on 12/14/2009 11:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
You'd rather they put that money in barrels and drop it into the ocean? I wish our government would follow GM's example and give back some of the money they haven't spent yet, and maybe bring down the deficit a little.

Regardless, you say they're betting the farm on the Volt. That doesn't hold water. They're working on cars for the mass market, as well - they are building the Volt for long-term reasons. They don't expect the first generation Volt to dig them out, they're building it to aid them in developing their EV/E-REV platform. They can then adapt the platform to other vehicles as necessary, and even combine it with their fuel cell technology if the market demands it.


"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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