OnStar is testing a new app called EcoHub that will let Chevrolet Volt owners calculate total charging costs relative to total home energy use. EcoHub can track energy use on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.
EcoHub collects total home energy use data from the local electric company or a smart meter company to compare it with Volt charging information to show the percentage of total energy use the Volt uses. The app also calculates total energy cost based on local electricity rates. EcoHub’s “Ticker” screen displays total electric-powered miles driven versus total miles driven as well as gallons of fuel saved in EV mode.
Volt owners living in the Pecan Street smart grid living community in Austin will conduct initial tests of the EcoHub app. Later, OnStar hopes to make EcoHub available for Volt owners across the country. For the 2013 model year, the Chevrolet Volt received battery density improvements, resulting in a 38-mile EV range and an EPA-rated 98 MPGe. With 2851 units sold in September, the Volt set a new monthly sales record; 16,348 Volts have been sold through the first nine months of this year.
“Down the line, we hope this app can be a beneficial tool for all drivers of electric vehicles,” said Paul Pebbles, global manager, Electric Vehicle and Smart Grid Services in a release.
Expanding the availability of the EcoHub will require cooperation with third-party sources, a GM spokesman tells us. OnStar hopes to use the Green Button Initiative, a national program that allows customers to access home energy information via a smart meter. While there is no set timeframe for the EcoHub app to be available beyond Pecan Street, GM tells us that it could be feasible within the year with the right partnerships. Currently the app is only available for OnStar equipped EVs, suggesting that Cadillac ELR owners may one day get to try a newer version of the app.