Holiday Season

Here's how to get real-time Santa location updates via OnStar

Photo courtesy of OnStar

Before up on the rooftop reindeer pause, Santa Claus is being tracked by OnStar. (Or at least that's what we're telling the kids.)

Beginning December 24, Chevrolet vehicles equipped with an active OnStar plan can find out the location of Santa's sleigh by pushing the OnStar button in the car, truck, or SUV. The service will be available from 6 a.m. EST on December 24 to 5 a.m. EST on December 25.

In combination with North America Aerospace Defense Command the service will provide "real-time updates" using NORAD. According to a release, "NORAD uses the North Warning System radar chain and geosynchronous satellites with infrared sensors to follow Santa on his journey around the globe."

"Each year, we help keep spirits bright by fulfilling thousands of requests on Santa's whereabouts," said Stacey Unold, director of Contact Center Operations supporting Chevrolet. "This in-car technology provides Chevy owners and their families with a fun and festive way to connect during the most wonderful time of the year."

Chevy and OnStar will also donate $1 to the American Red Cross for every blue button push in the United States.

Chevrolet has recently upgraded the Energy Assist version of the myChevrolet app.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet has enhanced its myChevrolet mobile app to include a number of features that will help Bolt EV owners better live with their vehicle as part of their daily routine.

"We're providing EV owners with the tools to easily find available public charging stations," said Rick Spina, GM vice president AV/EV commercialization. "The enhancements to Energy Assist offer Chevrolet Bolt EV owners a holistic charging experience while they're on the go – whether traveling near home or on a cross-country road trip."

MyChevrolet app electric vehicle EV charging The new app functionality allows for more dynamic route planning. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Energy Assist, which was first available within the app in 2017, enables owners to locate available charging stations along their route of travel. The function will integrate vehicle data that combines with that charging information. When range projections change dramatically, Energy Assist will push notifications to the user about updated charging needs and availability.

According to Chevrolet, updates include:

Dynamic Data Integration - GM is now displaying dynamic data from charging networks EVgo and ChargePoint within Energy Assist, so Bolt EV owners can have a more seamless charging experience with their GM vehicles. Information provided by charging networks includes real-time data on charge station status to indicate if a charging station is available. GM will integrate dynamic data from additional charging providers throughout 2020, which will include EV Connect continuing to enhance the customer experience.

Start-to-Charge - At eligible charging stations, owners can now link their EVgo account to activate and pay for charging sessions right from the myChevrolet mobile app, eliminating the need to toggle between apps and streamline the payment process. Eligible charging stations are noted within the myChevrolet mobile app. GM will continue to add eligible charging stations throughout 2020.

Review and Rate - With crowdsourcing on the rise, GM is implementing a new feedback feature for Bolt EV owners. Coming in early 2020, Bolt EV owners will be able to review and rate charging stations within the myChevrolet app. Similar to other popular crowdsourcing technologies, this feature will rely on Bolt EV owners to share their valuable insights about charging stations by providing a star rating and leaving comments about the station.

Energy Assist provides Bolt EV owners access to all Bolt EV-compatible charging station locations, regardless of the charge point operator. EV owners can now view more than 40,000 charging stations in North America, with access to 30 percent more DC Fast Chargers compared to 2019.

Original purchasers of new Bolt EVs have access to the Energy Assist features in the myChevrolet mobile app at no additional cost for five years from the vehicle delivery date, after they accept the myChevrolet mobile app terms. Energy Assist is available for Bolt EV owners in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The myChevrolet app is available for select Apple and Android devices.

The Chevy Equinox has gotten a fresh face for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet is adding to and enhancing its popular Equinox SUV lineup. Among the changes to the model are fresh exterior design elements, a new RS trim level, and additional available safety technologies.

The front and rear fascias of the Equinox have changed, giving the car more aggressive styling that is in line with the looks of the Blazer. Its new LED headlamps and grille lead the way.

2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Equinox Premier

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Under the hood the model retains its standard turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 170 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Chevy is available with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that achieves 252 horsepower and mates with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet will continue to offer the Equinox with available all-wheel drive.

Adding to the Equinox stable of L, LS, LT, ad Premier trims, is the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS. The new trim level adds a gloss black grille, 19-inch Dark Android wheels, black badging, black rails, an RS shift knob, red stitching, and black interior upholstery.

The top-tier Equinox Premier model comes with a gloss black grille with chrome inserts, LED headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch wheels, a projection logo project tailgate, french stitching on the interior, and a high gloss black finish on the console.

A laundry list of safety and driver assistance technology is standard including a rearview camera, lane departure warning with assist, a following distance indicator, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, IntelliBeam headlights, and forward collision alert.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be anounced closer to the model's on-sale date.