Volvo has upgraded its ‘Volvo Cars’ app for its EV owners to make charging and paying as convenient as a gas station fill-up.
The Swedish marque is set to introduce one million electrified cars to the road by 2025 – by which time, it has also targeted 50 per cent of its global sales will come from EVs – en-route to full-electrification by 2030 and carbon-neutrality by 2040. Alongside two all-electric additions to its line-up, Volvo has also claimed that, by next year, every model on its US line-up will be at least partially electrified.
To accompany this move to full-electrification, Volvo has now upgraded its ‘Volvo Cars’ App to display real time information on “hundreds of thousands of public charging stations,” including their respective operators and the availability of chargers. For the first time, owners will also be able to pay for their charging sessions through the App, creating what Volvo calls a “one-stop shop” for both existing and prospective EV customers.
“Many of us are familiar with the frustration of having to navigate multiple apps and carrying multiple cards for different charging operators,” Volvo’s head of electrification Olivier Loedel, explains. “Our goal was to make life easier for our customers and remove one of the major barriers for customers to switch to an electric car. With the Volvo Cars app, we will create one digital charging platform.”
The initiative is expected to be introduced to North America before the end of the year, and effectively replaces the ChargePoint app available for download through Volvo’s updated EV infotainment since January. The latter allowed ‘Recharge’ owners to search, navigate and pay for charging sessions through one interface, albeit exclusively at ChargePoint locations.
As an additional incentive, owners of 2023 MY Volvos will be entitled to a three-year 250 kWh DC fast charging pass courtesy of Electrify America. A similar arrangement was recently announced for prospective owners of the GV60, the premium SUV of Hyundai’s luxury arm, Genesis. While Volvo does not mention any restrictions in its official release, it’s expected Recharge customers will be limited to the same 30-minute sessions as GV60 owners.
This is not the first move Volvo has made in 2022 to make public charging more convenient for EV owners. In March of this year, Volvo announced a new pilot program with Starbucks, which would see the Swedish carmaker and the coffeehouse magnate provide up to 60 charging points across a 2,000-plus kilometre route from Denver, Colorado, to Seattle, Washington. One week earlier, Volvo also confirmed that a three-year program involving an XC40 Recharge taxi fleet would look into the validity of in-city wireless charging.