The Spark EV Waypoint tab calculates the optimal route to a given destination, along with the locations of recommended charging stations if needed.
Driving an electric vehicle is a high-tech experience in more ways than one. EV drivers use various smartphone apps to maximize their range and minimize their charging costs. Last week, as GM previewed its new Spark EV, OnStar unveiled two clever new apps designed to help modern-day knights in their quest for these twin grails.
The Spark EV Waypoint tab, which will be integrated into OnStar’s existing RemoteLink app, calculates the optimal route to a given destination, along with the locations of recommended charging stations if needed. The app tells a driver what level of charge will be required for a trip and, if charging en route will be required, it suggests possible waypoints where chargers are available. The app takes into account the battery’s current state of charge, and even adjusts for the effects of an individual’s past driving behavior. The Waypoint app will be available for the launch of the 2014 Spark EV.
The Park-Tap-Charge app (only a prototype at the moment) will allow EV owners to see how much it will cost to charge at a particular station, and initiate charging with a single touch. Simply tap your smartphone against a charging station, and it will display the cost of your desired level of charge. If the price is right, another tap starts the juice flowing, and debits your existing account. The app uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, an offshoot of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID).