Apps

Volvo on Call app gets enhancements for electric vehicles

Volvo has updated the Volvo on Call app for PHEV and EV drivers.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Volvo has improved the Volvo on Call smartphone app to increase its functionality regarding plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV). The enhancements are available in all Volvo on Call markets.

The app now allows drivers to see how much distance they have driven in fully electric model and view their electricity and fuel consumption, in addition to other metrics. Later this year the service will also give users the ability to see the impact of their driving on their CO2 footprint, as well as the estimated fuel costs saved by driving in fully electric mode.

Volvo on Call appThe Volvo on Call app now has added functionality.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"We want the Volvo On Call app to make life easier for you as a user and create a more personal experience," said Ödgärd Andersson, chief digital officer. "As the car becomes ever more connected, the potential of the app increases and we intend over time for the app to be as much a part of the Volvo as the car itself."

For applicable Volvo Recharge models, bought during the offer period, the app will also inform drivers on the status of the electricity refund that launched last year (varies by market).

Volvo Recharge refers to all Volvo brand PHEV and EV vehicles.

All Volvo one Call functionalities are available for all Volvo PHEV models built and sold by the company after 2015 in the 47 countries where Volvo on call operates. In China, functionalities similar to the app's capabilities will be added to the WeChat platform.

Volvo XC40 Recharge side plugVolvo has launched the XC40 Recharge as its first mass market battery electric vehicle.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

"Just like a step counter helps people exercise more, I believe that by giving people better insight into their driving patterns, it will help them to drive in a more sustainable way," said Björn Annwall, head of EMEA at Volvo Cars. "We see plug-in hybrids as 'part time electric cars' that encourage changes in people's behavior and help pave the way for a transition towards fully electric cars."

Volvo is currently the leader in PHEV sales, which comprise nearly 25 percent of all sales in Europe. The automaker is planning to make 50 percent of its global sales EVs by 2025 with the rest hybrid models. Its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge P8, will go into production later this year in Ghent, Belgium.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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