With more companies committing more of their product range to electrified vehicles, we’re bound to see more mobile apps such as Honda’s SmartCharge, to help EV owners maximize their driving experiences, while being rewarded for their choices.
The company is rolling out the beta version of the SmartCharge mobile app to owners of the new electric Honda Fit through the HondaLink multimedia link, with the idea of expanding it to other vehicles as more come onstream. The company plans to have 2-thirds of its fleet electrified by 2030.
“Honda SmartCharge is uniquely able to shift electric vehicle charging in real-time without impacting the customer,” said Steve Center, vice president, Connected and Environmental Business Development for American Honda. “We believe the program will be a game changer with its ability to create new value for our customers, reduce demand on the grid during peak load times, and help contribute to our company's goal of reducing CO2 emissions.”
As with other mobile apps, Honda SmartCharge helps owners manage their charge times, according to grid-load conditions, to help owners not just reduce CO2 emissions but to also reduce their charging costs.
Among the suggestions is that most owners plug in their vehicles immediately after arriving home from work, which may end up costing them more to charge because demand at that time is higher and therefore electricity is also more costly. SmartCharge will let owners defer their charging to a time when demand is lower and electricity is cheaper, such as late night.
Customers create a profile and select preferred charge times. SmartCharge then uses the utility’s pricing signals to determine the optimal periods during the customer-chosen time ranges. It will also notify owners with reminders to plug in at low-cost periods.
The app also monitors charge progress and tracks CO2 reductions, as well as rewards earned (customers earn a monetary reward for the first five charge sessions, and for usage of the app over 2-month periods.
Available initially only to iPhones, Honda is rolling out SmartCharge to California Fit EV customers, with plans to use the results of its beta program to tailor the app for cars such as the Clarity Electric and Plug-In Hybrid models, and to other regions in the near future.