Volvo Uses Android Automotive to Make Clever Range Extender App for the XC40 Recharged

Range anxiety has been an integral piece of the EV experience since the very first electric horseless carriages rolled onto the scene over a century ago. At least in 2021, Volvo XC40 Recharge has technology on its side to make things a little less panic-inducing
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Photo: Volvo
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Volvo’s new in-house Range Assistant application will be embedded within the new Android Automotive infotainment screen present on all XC40 EV models. The app is intended to provide drivers with accurate information regarding the remaining battery range of the vehicle. The system can make adjustments to things like climate control and battery power output to extend the XC40 Recharge’s range as much as physically possible over long-distance trips.

Without the computer assistance of the Range Extender app, the range of the XC40 Recharge is estimated to be 208 miles (334.75 km). It’s hoped that the added range application will entice EV buyers who had been dead set on Teslas at one point in time. With a range of between 303 to 326 miles (487 to 524 km) estimated for the equivalent Model Y SUV, there’s still quite a lot of ground to cover.

Recent Volvo vehicles have been able to receive over-the-air updates to various software applications since the beginning of the year. Once the Android Automotive powered range extender app is fully up and running, expect periodic updates from Volvo. We can only hope it doesn’t take as long as some Android phone updates tend to do.

Through in-house development of software and over-the-air updates, we can constantly improve our cars and make sure that your electric Volvo stays fresh,” said Sanela Ibrovic, head of the connected experience at Volvo Cars. “The Range Assistant app is a great example of how quick development and deployment of new features can improve the Volvo customer experience every day.

Expect the full release of the Range Extender app to hit the scene by the end of October at the latest. Clearly, Volvo isn’t playing around in the EV market, but to say an app could be a dealbreaker between it and a Tesla is dubious at best. Only time will tell which option consumers prefer.
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