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
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.