GM is trying to offer real-time charging station info for Chevy Bolt drivers.
GM wants to make the myChevrolet app the only mobile app the Chevrolet Bolt EV driver will ever need, but that might be a bit of a tall order.
The myChevrolet app is by no means exclusive to Bolt EV drivers; it also offers plenty of functionality for owners of other Chevrolet vehicles, like remote start, locking/unlocking, and access to vehicle data. But the app could be especially useful to Bolt customers, who have to be more careful about managing range, lest they become stranded with no remaining battery charge.
"Because our app is integrated with data from the vehicle, you could never replicate what we're able to do around intelligent route-planning and knowing precisely what the state of charge of your battery would be upon arrival at a destination," GM's Manager of EV Charging and Infrastructure, Kelly Helfrich, told Electrek recently.
In response to the unique needs of Chevrolet Bolt EV drivers, GM rolled out an Energy Assist feature for the myChevrolet app in 2017, and the automaker has been adding functionality ever since. Just within the past few months, Energy Assist has gained the ability to display dynamic information about availability at various public charging stations.
But implementation has been spotty, as GM has to work with multiple charging-point operators (CPOs) individually in order to add their networks. So far, myChevrolet only offers dynamic charging station info through the ChargePoint and EVgo networks, although EV Connect is soon to follow. As for convenient no-card payments, that functionality is today only available through EVgo. ChargePoint, EV Connect, and other stations will be added later this year.
Still, given enough time, GM is confident that myChevrolet's Energy Assist feature will deliver the most utility for Chevrolet Bolt EV drivers, and soon, users will be able to submit check-ins and reviews at Bolt-compatible charging stations.
"You can't deliver an app with dynamic info for every network overnight, which is why our strategy is to work with each CPO directly," Helfrich says. "We're agnostic to any bilateral agreement. Our tech teams engage early and often so that we're delivering the best experience."
The myChevrolet app with Energy Assist is available free of charge for five years from the date of vehicle delivery, after which time owners will have to select a payment plan. If GM makes good on its promises, it might just be the only app a Bolt owner needs in order to drive.