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GM to Help Gauge Volt Charging Costs

October 9, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

GM-OnStar to Test Grid-Compatible EcoHub in Austin, Texas

“How much is your charge charging you?” GM asks, spreading the word that it will test a new mobile app to advise drivers of the Chevy Volt just how much it costs them to charge their range-extended electric vehicles.

GM-OnStar and the Pecan Street R&D organization in Austin, Texas are to test a mobile app dubbed EcoHub to advise drivers of the Chevrolet Volt just how much the electricity for their car is costing –€“ and compare Volt’€™s energy use with the total energy consumed in their home by day, month or year.

The app works with GM’s OnStar vehicle security, roadside assistance and diagnostics system, and is being evaluated with the help of the Pecan Street R&D organization in Austin, Texas – which GM describes as a smart grid living community.

“For the first time we’re able to put one of our smart grid solutions into the hands of actual consumers,” GM global manager for EV and smart grid services Paul Pebbles says in a release. “Down the line, we hope this app can be a beneficial tool for all drivers of electric vehicles.”

App Aggregates Utility and Vehicle Data

The GM-OnStar EcoHub app works by pulling overall home energy usage data, provided by an energy data source, such as a utility or smart meter company. It also collects Volt charging information from OnStar subscribers and Volt owners.

“The energy use data is then aggregated to show vehicle owners exactly how much energy is being used on a daily, monthly or yearly basis, while showing what percentage of that energy went to charging the Volt,” GM says. “Based on electricity rates, the data is broken down to show the cost of both total energy usage and Volt charging energy use.”

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