Plug-in hybrids claim to be much more fuel efficient, therefore cheaper to run, than regular models that are powered only by combustion engines. But, instead of looking at the increase in gas prices when driving your hybrid, you have to keep an eye on your electricity bill for the cost of charging your car battery.
General Motors has realized this and their OnStar service is curretly testing an application that will inform Chevy Volt owners about the cost of charging their extended-range plug-in hybrid. The app also known as the EcoHub will compare the total energy consumed by the home to the Volt’s energy use in the corresponding day, month, or year.
To obtain overall domestic energy usage info, OnStar’s new app uses an energy data source, such as a utility or smart meter company. At the same time, the energy data source collects charging info from Volt owners who choose this app and OnStar subscribers.
“We’ve found that Volt owners love to keep track of and compare their personal driving stats, like electric miles driven for example,” said Chevrolet Volt marketing director Cristi Landy. “The EcoHub app is another great example of using the vehicle’s embedded technology to provide Volt owners with useful information.”
The EcoHub will initially be available to a smart grid community in Austin Texas named the Pecan Street demonstration project. The gallery below shows different features of the EcoHub app.