In addition to General Motor's recent announcement that Michigan will join California and Washington, D.C., as the first markets in which Chevrolet dealerships will receive Volt's, Chevrolet is revealing more details about their rollout of demonstration program vehicles to government / utility fleets for the development of vehicle charging programs.
DTE Energy, as well as previously announced Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, will be receiving some of the 100+ Volts to learn more about the installation process, vehicle charging, and to gain customer feedback. With actual vehicles, these utilities will be able to deploy / operate charging stations and receive real world information about their effectiveness for the end user.
To this end, the Chevy Volt is equipped through OnStar to allow smartphone access to read the vehicle's charge status and schedule charging remotely, as well as other enhanced features like engaging climate control remotely, so that the Volt interior is at a comfortable temperature before the driver reaches the vehicle. OnStar's Mobile Application communicates with the Volt from Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone and BlackBerry Storm smartphones.
Given these enhanced user features, keeping the Volt prepped for operation without having to spend time in the parked vehicle will significantly improve the user's experience, and help the utilities develop charging schedules that benefit both the driver and the utility.
[Source: Press Release]