2012-10-08

An App That Calculates How Much It Will Cost To Charge Your EV

How much does electricity even cost? You probably don’t know, and certainly don’t know how much it takes to fill up a car battery. A new app for Volt owners helps take the mystery out of pricing your electric car fill-ups.

It’s hard to calculate exactly how much gas costs without sitting in a gas station, but Chevrolet just made it a lot easier for Volt drivers to figure out how much it will cost to charge up their extended range electric vehicles.

The new Chevy app, EcoHub, collects home energy use data (from a utility or smart meter company) as well as charging data to calculate how much energy Volt users are using overall and what portion goes towards charging the vehicle. This is a bigger deal than it might sound—up until now, it hasn’t been easy for EV owners to figure out how much cash they’re spending on vehicle charging. It’s not like they can go to gas stations and watch as the dollars and gallons creep up; more often than not, they’re just charging in home garages.

A bonus for statistics enthusiasts: The app’s "ticker" function lets users see total miles driven, total EV miles driven, and gallons of fuel saved on a national level.

The app is rolling out first in the Pecan Street project, a smart-grid community in Austin, Texas. It’s only available for Android, but will be available for iOS in the future. Even if you don’t live in Austin, you can still access much of the data—third-party utility data is already available to drivers on Chevy’s MyVolt website. The app will just make it more convenient to access—and give more exact data.

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