2013 Chevy Volt

Chevy helps answer questions about electric car charging

New EcoHub app for Volt will help owners understand and keep track of their charging costs.

Manufacturers of electric cars know that their customers are very energy conscious. One question that many electric car owners may have is how much does charging it cost? Chevy, the manufacturer of the Volt electric vehicle, is now helping its customers to answer this and other questions with a new app that works in conjunction with its On Star system.

The new app called, EcoHub, will monitor the charging costs, in terms of dollars and also energy consumption, of the owner’s Volt. The app will draw upon data supplied to it by a smart grid. A smart grid is an electrical grid that is capable of doing more than just provide power. For example, it might monitor a home’s use, it could offer different rates for energy at different times of day to help balance demand and encourage off-peak usage, and it can then allow users to share in the data. The beta units of the app will be tested in conjunction with an Austin TX project called the Pecan Street smart grid living community. OnStar is also part of the project.

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In addition to knowing what the Volt is using in terms of energy, the EcoHub will also monitor the owner’s home consumption of energy for all other uses. This is a stroke of genius by Chevy. It will show the users that their car uses waaaay less energy than say their refrigerator. It will generate buzz and folks will begin to compare their car’s energy consumption in terms of other appliances. The App will even allow for users to compare their usage to national averages.

Chevy knows its Volt customers are tech savvy, use mobile devices, and are interested in energy. The new EcoHub will play well with this audience.