Chevrolet Volt owners will be able to calculate total charging costs in comparison with the total home energy use through a new app named EcoHub that OnStar is presently testing. With EcoHub, the Volt owner can monitor energy on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. EcoHub gathers total home energy use information from the local electric company or a smart meter firm to compare it with Volt charging information to display the Volt’s percentage of total energy use.
EcoHub also measures total energy cost based on local electricity rates. It has a “Ticker” screen that shows total electric-powered miles driven compared to total miles driven as well as gallons of fuel saved in EV mode. The initial tests of the EcoHub app will be conducted by Volt owners who live in the Pecan Street smart grid living community in Austin.
OnStar is expected to later make EcoHub available for Volt owners throughout the country. The 2013 Chevrolet Volt got improvements in battery density, leading to a 38-mile EV range and an EPA-rated 98 MPGe. In September, 2851 Volt units were sold. This is its highest monthly sales yet. For the first nine months of 2012, Chevrolet sold 16,348 Volts. In a release, Paul Pebbles, global manager, Electric Vehicle and Smart Grid Services, said that eventually, this app will benefit everyone who drives electric vehicles.
A GM spokesman said that the EcoHub’s availability could only be expanded when third-party sources cooperate. OnStar wants to be able to utilize the Green Button Initiative, a national program that permits customers to get access home energy information through a smart meter.
No timeframe has been set yet on when the EcoHub will be offered to the public. However, GM says that it might be feasible within this year if it gets the right partnerships. For now, the app is available just on OnStar equipped EVs, hinting that Cadillac ELR owners may attempt to acquire a newer version of the app.
The latest Chevrolet Volt model features a performance-oriented stance, boldness and sleekness that carry out its electrically driven capabilities. These are combined with a look that resembles a typical midsize and upscale sports car with its broad front and back tracks of 61.2/62.1 inches, 105.7-inch wheelbase, well-sculpted belt line, wheels-out stance and a premium execution.
Director of Design Bob Boniface said that since Volt is a revolutionary car, the design team made it as dynamic and sleek as possible. This version of Volt is also set to highlight a very refined and technical design with well defined, crisp and clean edges and creases.
The engineering and design team has produced the most aerodynamic model in all of Chevrolet’s history with Volt’s own wind tunnel which is way beyond supremacy. An extended range of 50 miles and eight-mile electric range is also developed by the dedicated aerodynamics team to help in reducing the energy needed for the car to surmount air resistance.
The grille and tampered corners of Volt’s flush and rounded front fascia enables air to easily move all over the car to help lessen drag. The carefully designed spoiler and sharp edges in its rear also control air flow and a strong rake in the back glass and the windshield also help lessen drag and turbulence.
Its interior and exterior, flush relationships and element-to-element gap are revised to be better than the rest of the models in the segment. The colors of its underwood compartment components as well as its surfaces are also changed to harmonize with the tones of the other features of the car.