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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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Top 5 Smart Phone Volt App Ideas
By Lord 666 on 12/13/2009 7:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
1. The "Donate Money to GM" app

2. The "Excuse generator on spending 40,000 for the Volt" app. Includes phrases "I'm doing it for the environment", "I only drive 40 miles a day", and "It doesn't look that bad."

3. The "Charging Center Locator" app.

4. The "Tons of CO2 prevented into Air" app with geotagging that automatically blogs location and dista
/route traveled on electric and gas.

5. The "Find other Volt owner's" app so they can give you a life when you are stranded. This user group will understand the challenges and graciously help out

RE: Top 5 Smart Phone Volt App Ideas
By danfan1587 on 12/14/2009 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
6. The "Find the nearest Chevy Dealer" app. A handy app to locate the nearest dealer for a tow.

By Lord 666 on 12/14/2009 2:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
My VW already has this feature within the factory GPS with locations appearing as by VW emblems. Given the perceived quality issue of VW's, it is logical to have built-in.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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