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Volvo and Polestar Range Assistant app promises more range for EVs

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Volvo and Polestar just released a new app for their EVs that promises to help optimize driving range. It’s called “Range Assistant,” and it’s coming as an over-the-air update to the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2. The Volvo C40 Recharge will have it built into the car from the factory. It’s exclusive to EVs and Volvo/Polestar products running the Android Automotive infotainment system.

Volvo says the app has a range-optimizer functionality that automatically adjusts the climate control to improve range. It’ll also coach drivers with driving style and speed recommendations to increase range on longer trips.

The app also comes with passive forms of range improvements. Volvo claims it’ll help better manage battery and regeneration performance. Plus, it has a “smarter timer to precondition the batteries.” For example, when you input a charging destination into Google Maps, the car will automatically precondition the batteries to be ready for maximum charging speed by the time you arrive. There’s more data for the driver to scan, too, as Volvo provides greater detail on the available range and real-time energy consumption.

Volvo doesn’t put a number or percentage on the range increase that drivers may experience with this new app, but does claim that range will go up because of it.

In addition to the new app, Volvo says this latest OTA update includes “further improvements on the safety systems, new information about cold climate impact on battery range and various bug fixes.” 

The app is scheduled to be rolled out to the applicable vehicles by the end of October. Its functionality will come baked into the complimentary four-year Volvo Care Package that all Volvo EVs automatically get. Of course, after those four years, you’ll be on the hook for the data connection cost and package fee. Note that the Range Assistant appears to be tied up into this package, and while it won’t incur a separate fee, you’ll need it and the data connection to take advantage of it after so many years.

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