Needing different cards or apps in order to pay for the electricity to charge a vehicle at various stations can be a nuisance for some users. Volvo is looking to ease some of that frustration.
The automaker announced that it is working to consolidate a wide variety of charging functions and payment options into its Volvo Cars app with the goal of making charging an EV (nearly) as easy as gassing up a car.
In the U.S. the Volvo Cars app will build on the ChargePoint app, which already gives American customers access to more than 25,000 charger locations around the country. The app will be available this year and in 2023, the automaker will partner with Electrify America. Customers will get a free three-year 250 kWh DC fast charging pass with the supplier, as well as a 12-month membership.
In China, the Volvo Cars app will work with Star Charge, State Grid, and TELD, which together cover 75 percent of all public charging points in the country. In Europe, meanwhile, Volvo drivers will be able to choose from over 270,000 charging points thanks to Plugsurfing being integrated into the app. This allows cross-border charging access across the continent.
Relatedly, Volvo has spent the past few months investing in public charging networks in areas it thinks are of strategic importance around Europe. It has invested in Powerstop-branded charging locations in Poland, Italy, and Belgium, among others. All are along commuter roads in order to facilitate the use of EVs and with that, it also has preferential pricing arrangements through Plugsurfing and at IONITY stations.
“Many of us are familiar with the frustration of having to navigate multiple apps and carrying multiple cards for different charging operators,” said Olivier Loedel, head of Electrification Ecosystem at Volvo Cars. “Our goal was to make life easier for our customers and remove one of the major barriers for customers to switch to an electric car. With the Volvo Cars app, we will create one digital charging platform.”