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Volvo’s new in-car app squeezes every last mile out of your EV’s battery

The Range Assistant can automatically adjust your climate control.


Many electric car drivers are aware of tricks to wring every last drop of range from their cars, but Volvo thinks it can take that load off people's shoulders. It's updating Volvo and Polestar EVs with a Range Assistant app that both helps you make smart choices and, in one case, makes the decisions itself. The app can automatically tweak the climate control system to extend your range at the (slight) expense of comfort.

The update is rolling out now to the XC40 Recharge, and will be coming to the Polestar 2. All compatible EVs should have the update by the end of October. And don't worry if you're eyeing a C40 Recharge — that coupe-like SUV will include the Range Assistant from the start. Future updates should add driver coaching on driving habits and speed, among other tweaks.

You probably won't need this app if you're a seasoned EV driver. You'll know enough to turn the AC off, stick to speed limits and avoid mashing the throttle. However, this could be vital as EVs enter the mainstream. Newcomers might not need to spend as much time learning the ropes (and charging their cars) as their predecessors.