OnStar Previews Chevrolet Volt Smartphone Application

It’s not uncommon to see automakers release applications for various smartphones these days, but the program developed by GM and OnStar for the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt gives owners some unique control over their vehicles from afar.

Available for the Blackberry Storm, Motorola Droid, and Apple’s iPhone, the Volt “app” allows owners to keep tabs on their Volt -- useful, perhaps, if they’re charging the car in a parking garage while working an eight-hour day in an office.

OnStar’s application allows Volt drivers to view the car’s charge status, remotely initiate a charge (so long as the car is plugged in, mind you), and even schedule charging to avoid peak usage hours to reduce costs. Notifications are sent when the charge is complete, or if the charge cycle is interrupted.

Those who love bragging about their ecological habits may also enjoy the telemetry offered by the Volt app. The program can display the driver’s average fuel consumption, how many miles were driven in EV mode, and the car’s odometer readings. Traditional OnStar features, including remote door unlock, can also be triggered via the application.

“The Volt ushers in a new era of automotive technology and calls for a new level of connectivity and control,” said Walt Dorfstatter, OnStar’s president. “Nearly 6 million vehicles on the road today use OnStar to stay connected, and our new smartphone app will make that even easier for Volt drivers.”

Although it will be a while before consumers can test drive a Volt (production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year), you can test drive the application. Demonstration versions of the application for the Droid and Blackberry can be downloaded at www.OnStarMobileDemo.com. The iPhone version should appear in the App Store later today.

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