Volvo and Polestar have just released a new app for their EVs that promises to help optimize driving range. It’s called ‘Range Assistant’ and it comes as a wireless update for the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2. The Volvo C40 Recharge is built into the car from the factory. It is exclusive to EVs and Volvo/Polestar products with the Android Automotive infotainment system.
Volvo says the app has a range optimizer feature that automatically adjusts the climate control to increase range. It will also coach drivers with driving style and speed recommendations to increase range on longer journeys.
The app also comes with passive forms of range enhancement. Volvo claims it will help better manage battery performance and regeneration. In addition, it has a “smarter timer to precondition the batteries”. For example, if you enter a charging destination into Google Maps, the car will automatically prepare the batteries to be ready for maximum charging speed by the time you arrive. There is also more data for the driver to scan, as Volvo provides more details on available range and real-time energy consumption.
Volvo does not give a figure or percentage to the range increase that drivers can experience with this new app, but does claim that the range increases.
In addition to the new app, Volvo says this latest OTA update includes “further improvements to the safety systems, new information about the impact of cold climates on battery range and several bug fixes”.
The app is planned to be rolled out to the relevant vehicles at the end of October. The functionality is built into the free four-year Volvo Care Package that all Volvo EVs automatically receive. After those four years you are of course on the hook for the data connection costs and package costs. Note that the Range Assistant appears to be connected to this package, and while there’s no separate charge for it, you’ll need it and the data connection to take advantage of it after so many years.