Driving an electric car might feel cool and environmentally friendly, but there’s an inherent worry involved: Cars that use only battery power have a limited range before they have to be charged.
To deal with this so-called “range anxiety,” auto makers have been developing mobile applications to ease consumers’ fears that their battery-powered car won’t have enough juice. Over a recent weekend, I decided to try one out. General Motors Co. let me borrow their new Chevy Volt and a Motroloa touch-screen phone using Android software to see for myself how their OnStar app interacts with the car.
The app lets you lets you check the charging status and initiate charging, and it tells you how many miles the car can travel before it runs out of battery power and gasoline. It also can unlock doors, check tire pressure and cool or heat the cabin from anywhere as long as your phone is getting service.
GM says the app can help consumers manage their battery usage. For instance, by using the app to pre-start the car and warm the cabin while the vehicle is still docked at a charging station, the driver won’t have to drain any of the battery’s power to do that while on the road.
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Made in America: Electric Charging System
It comes in a little box, it's not heavy at all, it installs in an hour or so... that's right it's your very own electric charging dock for your electric vehicle! Now you can go from discharged to full charge in three hours or less!
Forty-eight hours before the Super Bowl, Volkswagen's "Star Wars"-themed ad for its 2012 Passat was already all the rage.
In its Super Bowl ad, the Chevrolet Silverado replaces Lassie.
"OK, calm down. Don't get mad. Get even," Ewanick says he told his team. "If they've got a hot spot, then go wherever they go."
A team of Chevrolet marketers went into action, paying for links to Chevy's Super Bowl ads to appear as a top result when people Googled phrases such as "Darth Vader." On Sunday, the team did the same for the tag line "Imported from Detroit," when Chrysler's Eminem spot for the 200 sedan stole the show.
As a result, Chevrolet's ads got 55 million views online in the four days following the Super Bowl — far above expectations, Ewanick said. Despite the ongoing buzz around Chrysler, Chevrolet is one of several brands to run Super Bowl ads that worked to increase consumers' propensities to shop a vehicle the next time they're in the market.
General Motors is unveiling its version of an in-car connectivity system that uses a driver's smartphone -- and promises to make it better than Ford's competing system and others.
Like Ford Sync, it will allow you to use your smartphone, play music and other vehicle functions by voice command. It has a feature that displays the name of the musical artist and the song. It will also have the Pandora online music service.
"We're taking the infotainment system to the next level," Micky Bly, GM's chief engineer who is best known for successfully make Volt work, tells Drive on in an interview. "We've spent a lot of time on the human machine interface making sure customers do not have too many distractions." GM's system will be better, he says, because competitors don't have the OnStar communications link built into every GM vehicle.
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