Volvo Cars is simplifying the way drivers of its electric and plug-in hybrid cars recharge with an in-car app that eliminates the need to swipe a payment method to unlock a charging station and consolidates multiple charging network accounts into one.
The ChargePoint in-car app enables drivers of Volvo Recharge cars with Google Android Automotive OS to search for and navigate to a place to charge, as well as start and pay for a charging session, at thousands of locations across the country from the comfort of their vehicle. Only those Volvo cars with a plug for charging carry the Recharge badge.
Developed by ChargePoint in collaboration with Volvo Car Technology in Silicon Valley, the ChargePoint in-car app enables access to most of ChargePoint’s more than 100,000 places to charge throughout North America. Beyond its own network, ChargePoint has active roaming integrations with partners including EVgo and FLO among others. This means a single ChargePoint account will give Volvo Cars’ customers access to more than 80 per cent of public AC and DC stations across the U.S. and Canada today, with additional access in the coming months.
The ChargePoint in-car app will be available first on the 402 horsepower, all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge, the first fully electric car from Volvo Cars. The luxury compact SUV is available for sale now with a starting MSRP of $53,990. The purchase of an XC40 Recharge may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. State and local incentives could add further benefits.
How Does It Work?
Once downloaded from Google Play to the car via 4G wireless technology, the free ChargePoint in-car app is ready to go.
When the high voltage battery in the XC40 Recharge reaches a driver-selected state of charge, the car is shifted into Park, and available charging stations are within a half-mile radius, a visual alert appears on the 9.1-inch centre touch screen, accompanied by an audible notification.
Touching the visual alert displays a list of available charging stations, their locations and pricing. The driver selects the preferred location to begin turn-by-turn navigation. The driver can also use Google Assistant to find and navigate to nearby stations by saying, “Hey Google, find a nearby ChargePoint charging station.”
Upon arrival at the charging station, the driver selects the appropriate charger from the on-screen list and touches the green “Start Charging” button. Using GPS location and cellular technology the app communicates with the ChargePoint network to activate the selected charger and release the plug. At that point, the driver can get out of the car, remove the plug from the charger and plug in the car.
Payment information stored in a driver’s ChargePoint account eliminates the need to use a phone, RFID card or other payment methods to unlock a charging station and initiate a charging session. This is especially convenient in inclement weather and adds a level of personal safety in unfamiliar areas. The ChargePoint in-car app also eliminates the need for drivers to open multiple charging network accounts, or carry a multitude of various charging network cards, which may be easily lost, misplaced or left behind.
”Giving people the freedom to move is what we do at Volvo Cars,” said Bobbykin Makwana, Vice President and General Manager, Volvo Car Technology. “We are proud to have been able to work with ChargePoint to deliver this very personal benefit to our customers. Being in Silicon Valley gives Volvo Cars the ability to move quickly on technology solutions such as this.”
“The launch of a fully integrated ChargePoint in-car app in Volvo Recharge vehicles is an example of the increasing interconnectedness that driving electric brings to consumers,” said Bill Loewenthal, Senior Vice President, ChargePoint. “Not only will this new innovation seamlessly expand access to charging and essential charging data right in the vehicle’s infotainment system, but ChargePoint’s ongoing relationship with Volvo Cars ensures that Recharge drivers have access to thousands of places to charge across North America.”
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