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Three must-have apps for electric cars in SA


Johannesburg, 09 Apr 2020
Read time 5min 40sec

As a result of global warming, the world has become more aware of the damage we are doing to the environment. For this reason, users are choosing products that do not harm the environment, or that have the least possible impact. 

This effect is reflected in many inventions, one of them is electric cars or, as they are called, EVs. Although the future of electric cars is uncertain, more and more models are available in the car market.

Electric cars have several benefits, such as the zero-emissions of polluting gases, less mechanical breakdowns, reduction of noise, less expense of taxes and car insurance policies. Unlike what is commonly thought, the price of insurance policies is the same as traditional ones or sometimes surprisingly cheaper. 

Even car insurance for under 25s, which usually tends to be more expensive due to its accident rate, is keeping the same price. It is important that when insuring your electric car you take into account what you want the insurance to cover for you. Both theft of the charging cable and assistance for any battery failure are the most important you need to cover when paying for electric car insurance.

One of the great benefits of electric cars is that you can control and monitor your car by syncing it with your smartphone. To get the most out of it, you need to have installed the apps that are compatible with your electric car. This is a quick look at three apps that we consider you need if you already have an electric car or if you are thinking of buying one.

If you are new to the world of electric cars, it is important for you to know that you will no longer need to go to the same gas stations that you used to, and that from now on the fuel is no longer gas but electricity. It is likely that finding charging stations across South Africa is something hard since, as it is a relatively new service, there are not as many charging points as there are gas stations. However, with the recent increase in sales of electric cars, the demand for charging station in South Africa is also on the increase. The good news is that in the event that you use your electric car to move over not very long distances, your own home can be a “gas station”. 

Nevertheless, if you need to travel farther, you should install on your smartphone an app that helps you locate charging stations across South Africa so that you can charge your car's battery on the go. The perfect app for this is Electromaps. It is available for Android and iOS, and you can also find it in its Web version. There are many apps with maps that show the different charging points, but this one seems to be the most complete. 

Electromaps shows you a map where you can see the closest charging points on the map. It displays how to get there from your current location or, if you prefer, you can search by location. It shows in real-time the details of each charging stations, types of supported ports, charging speed, costs of charging, among other details. Since it is a collaborative tool, it works with a system of points in which you win points every time you add new information. 

This information can be a new charging location, a comment over an already added charging point, a photo of any charging point and you can also create a topic or comment on a topic in the app forum. According to statistics provided by the Electromaps site, there are 88 connectors distributed in 77 locations in South Africa at the present, which are already registered on the Electromaps.

No less important than knowing where the charging stations are is having an app that lets you charge your car's battery. Greenlots, available for Android and iOS, is the app that is best for it. In addition to displaying a map with the nearest stations and charging points as the app described above, Greenlots enables you to control the charging process of your electric car. It allows you to check and control the charging process in real-time detailing how much money you are spending, the energy you are incorporating to the battery’s car, type of energy and type of port you are using. 

It offers you the option to customise and filter the searches you need to do so that it only displays the stations and charging points that are useful for you according to the compatibility with your vehicle. This tool allows you to keep track of your expenses and charging payments. Through this app, it is possible to pay for the charges you make, as well as make reservations of charging points and pay for them in advance to make sure you have a place and prevent you from running out of battery on the go.

Another app that you should have on your smartphone is GreenCharge. This app, available for Android and iOS, enables you to keep control over your car's battery. It is a tool that lets you see the current range of your battery before a battery recharge is required. 

GreenCharge displays in detail your daily, weekly, monthly and annual history charges as well as how much you spent on them. This can help you check your consumption behaviour so that you can be able to improve them in the future. Since it is an eco-friendly tool, you can monitor the environmental impact that gas vehicles produce and it shows how much CO2 emission has been reduced on the atmosphere due to the fact that you are going electric. 

It also keeps track of the trees that you are saving thanks to your environmental consciousness. Additionally, another feature of this app is that it shows you how much money you are saving compared to a gasoline-powered car. The app offers you the possibility to share all this information with your friends over social networks or through the same app.

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