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Chevy and OnStar announced today the availability of an app for the upcoming Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle (EREV).  Called OnStar Experience, the app will allow consumers to view and control certain aspects of the Volt’s unique functions.

OnStar’s Mobile Application allows drivers to communicate with their Volt from Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone and Blackberry Storm smartphones. It uses a real-time data connection to perform tasks from setting the charge time to unlocking the doors.  The application:

  • 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, but only when plugged in
  • enables traditional OnStar features, such as locking/unlocking and remote horn and lights – which have typically been accessible only through a call into the OnStar call center – will now be available via the application
  • The mobile application will be available for the Apple iPhone, Blackberry Storm and Motorola Droid smartphones.  Volt’s OnStar mobile application will also be available on a mobile browser for other internet-capable phones. Volt drivers will also be able to view and manage vehicle systems and commands from the vehicle, the internet or through a monthly OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics e-mail.

    Early Volt buyers will be those known to marketers as “early adopters,” so providing this surprise cool feature will certainly appeal to those buyers.  Volt buyers will want to show off their smart purchase and being able to show friends their charge status, etc. will only make them feel even more special for having forked over the expected 40 large for the Volt.  Announcing this new feature also keeps the Volt in the consumers’ minds, which Chevrolet will have to keep up until late this year, when deliveries are expected to begin.  By then, it will have been almost 4 years since Chevrolet introduced the Volt to the public.

    What Chevy/GM/OnStar need to do now is develop an app that will work with all of their other cars & trucks.  Let me start the car (if equipped with remorte start), check my tire pressure, schedule service with my local dealer, and all of the other vehicle diagnostics that OnStar provides on a monthly basis with a subscription.  The cat’s out of the bag, GM!  Now I want all of this when I want it – immediately.  I don’t want to wait a month for OnStar to send me an e-mail!

    That’s what I think – how about you?  Please leave your comments below.

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