One of the big advantages of driving EVs is their ability to preheat or cool the cabin before starting your journey. Manufacturers make the most of this by providing a smart phone app that allows you to control these functions remotely.
In a climate like ours in Ontario, Canada, it is not only good to preheat your vehicle, it is a requirement to ensure you get the greatest possible range during the cold winter months. This leads me to a very disappointing reality. Not all manufacturer's smart phone apps are up to the job.
Here at EV Life Magazine, we have two smart ED vehicles, a 2013 and 2014 model. Both are designed to work with the "smart home page," a server side app that is supposed to allow you to set the climate control, see the state of charge, map your range and report how efficiently you are operating your vehicle.
Unfortunately the cold hard reality is that the "smart home page" app is often unavailable, and when it is, most often unreliable. The hardware installed in our smart ED vehicles, and/or the cell network used, result in chronic communication errors. And a poorly supported website seems to be an issue with reliable ongoing access to the app. But don't get me wrong, it is a fantastic feature when it is working.
If it is important for you to have remote access to the climate control of your vehicle, do your research, talk to other owners and try it for yourself before you buy. If you are an EV owner that has had similar issues, or even no issues, we would love to hear from you about your experiences. Hopefully this technology will improve over time.