Volvo On Call app: update adds data on energy use for plug-in hybrid owners

Owners of Volvo plug-in hybrids will be able to see what proportion of their journeys are made using electric power through the On Call app

Volvo smart watch

Volvo is expanding its On Call smartphone app service to give owners of plug-in hybrid models more information on their driving patterns and energy use.

The Swedish brand’s connected app will now allow drivers to see how much of their journey is being completed on electricity alone - a key factor in plug-in hybrid use, since it has the potential to slash fuel bills. On Call will also show the amount of CO2 saved, as well as projected cost savings over miles completed with a combustion engine. 

Volvo says the features have been added due to feedback from owners of the firm’s expanding range of plug-in hybrids; every model in the company’s range is now available as a PHEV. It hopes the additional information will help owners to enjoy getting better efficiency out of their vehicles.

Bjorn Annwall, Volvo’s European boss, said, “Just like a step counter helps people to exercise more, I believe that giving people better insight into their driving patterns will help them to drive in a more sustainable way. We see plug-in hybrids as ‘part-time electric cars’ that encourage changes in people’s behaviour and help pave the way for a transition towards fully electric cars.”

The updates are being made available across 47 countries, including the United Kingdom, and they will be rolled out through the usual Google and Apple app stores.

Volvo On Call was initially launched in 2001 as a remote safety feature for Volvo car owners, the first of its kind. It provided safety, security and tracking services in case of an accident, breakdown or theft by making use of a car-installed SIM card. The app still handles these functions but has been improved over time to handle a whole range of other functions such as remote locking, pre-heating, charging information and car status indicators. 

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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