Auto Tech

Chevy Bolt EV owners will see real-time charging station info

With coming updates, the Energy Assist app will show charging stations in use, or if they're offline for some reason.

Companies continue their efforts to make charging EVs simple.
General Motors

Charging stations are nowhere near as common as the traditional gas station. Until they are, charging station makers and automakers often make it a priority to keep the process as simple as possible, which explains why General Motors has some nifty updates in store.

Chevrolet Bolt EV owners can already use GM's Energy Assist app to help them plan a route where charging stations are available throughout the trip. However, new updates this year will provide real-time charging station data to Bolt EV drivers. Essentially, GM will take the guesswork out of a specific charging station.

Is the station in use? Energy Assist will show that. Perhaps a particular station is down for maintenance; the app will show that as well. GM said on Thursday the app will cover EVgo's and ChargePoint's stations, which make up the vast majority of stations across the US today. The automaker plans to add more networks throughout the year.

In addition to the extra data, GM packed a few more features into Energy Assist's upcoming updates. Owners will be able to pay for charging right through the MyChevrolet app; this will only work at select stations on the EVgo network, but it's another big convenience. It erases the need to fumble for membership cards or toggle apps to start a charging session. No, charging stations don't directly accept credit cards, either.

Energy Assist will also exclusively show charging stations the Bolt EV accepts. Do keep in mind DC fast charging capability is a $750 option for the Bolt EV. Otherwise, owners will be stuck with Level 1 or 2 chargers, which are hardly ideal for a long-range EV.

Chevy increased the Bolt EV's range to a more competitive 259 miles for the 2020 model year, and parent company GM has a lot more coming on the EV front. An electric Cadillac SUV is set to debut this year, and we'll also see a GMC Hummer electric pickup. Energy Assist will likely be a welcome complement to these new EVs as GM's electric portfolio continues to grow.

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