What Are The Best Trackers For Electric Cars
It’s probably fair to say that, despite all the hype, the electric car revolution hasn’t really gone with a bang so much as a slow escaping of air, motorists being reluctant at first to adopt the technology. Nevertheless, electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid cars seem to be the automotive way forward for our personal transport needs and sales are picking up. To date, there are getting on for a million hybrids and around 400,000 fully electric cars on our roads.
They are on the whole very good to drive and their growing popularity has singled them out for attention by car thieves, especially as more and more prestige car makers are adding high-end EVs to their product range. This is why fitting a car tracker makes sense for an electric or hybrid vehicle, so it is worth asking the question, ‘What are the best trackers for electric cars?’.
What Are Car Trackers?
Using GPS (Global Positioning System) a vehicle tracking device, covertly fitted to a car can broadcast a live location if a car is stolen. This makes recovery much easier. Most units will come with an annual subscription allowing instant data transfer to a central station which will notify the owners immediately if a vehicle is taken or being tampered with and these are the preferred choice for EV owners. There are many types of car trackers available to suit all budgets and the best will provide a worthwhile range of security options to thwart thieves.
Do All Vehicle Trackers Have Batteries?
Yes, either for backup power if the car electrics are off or as a constant power source as a standalone device. These less expensive standalone vehicle trackers require the user to physically remove and change the depleted batteries or plug into the mains for recharging. The best trackers for electric cars however are those that are hard-wired into the car, drawing power directly.
The Best Car Trackers For Electric Cars
Billions of pounds have been spent by vehicle manufacturers in the development of their electric vehicles, making them the most technologically advanced vehicles we have ever seen on the roads. Hybrid cars use a blend of conventional engines and electric power and of course EVs do away with internal combustion altogether. Either way, with the growing concern about our environment, a vehicle that uses electric power is an attractive proposition for the criminal fraternity.
One popular misconception about car trackers is that because they are hard-wired to the car and powered by electricity, they will drain the battery pack. Yes, any ancillary device on an EV, wipers, the infotainment kit and the like will use power but a car tracker draws a minimal amount of juice that will not be noticed in general use.
With electric vehicle technology comes advanced onboard systems. An example would be keyless entry. A key fob carried by the owner signals to onboard sensors when the driver approaches, unlocking the door and preparing the car for starting. Car thieves know this and by using an electronics based method called ‘relay theft’ they can clone that signal (even from inside the owner’s house when the vehicle is not in use) and swiftly take it away, never to be seen again.
It is surprisingly easy to defend against this by keeping key fobs when not in use in a metal box or, better still, a light and convenient metal-lined pouch (the Faraday pouch) which can be kept in a bag or pocket. Loss of a car however is inconvenient at best and a disaster at worst which is why it is best to take preventative measures and fit a car tracker from the outset.
Sure, they can be expensive but consider how much they cost in relation to how much electric cars are worth. It is worth noting that investing in a GPS car tracker now could also help lower the cost of your insurance premiums to the point where the savings could offset the cost of installing a tracker system. The German brand Audi, with their rather brilliant E-Tron prestige electric car recommends the Thatcham-approved Vodafone S5 VTS car tracker system. This unit and its accompanying smartphone app offers full protection against some of the most advanced car theft tactics used by today’s criminals, including relay theft. The built-in ID (identity) tag technology combats this by alerting the control room to all attempts to move your car through cloning or relay attacks.
What Is Thatcham Approval?
Thatcham Research is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the insurance industry. The Centre reviews and approves all vehicle security devices and categorises them accordingly. The S5 designation in the above mentioned Vodafone device signifies that a device offers the highest level of security that includes a driver ID tag. Most would-be car buyers will find that their insurers will require this level of tracker to be fitted to premium electric cars like the E-Tron to be quoted a premium. The good news is that fitting a car tracker means lower premiums generally, which is enough justification for the tracker device purchase.
Security is paramount
Security is paramount when it comes to vehicle ownership. Fitting a GPS car tracker means the authorities can track a car in real time and the police have had great success in recovering stolen vehicles in this way. Statistics show that stolen cars that are protected with a Thatcham certified tracker system are successfully recovered in 96 out of 100 instances. As an added benefit, those parents brave enough to let their children borrow the family EV can track their location via the app which will at least be of some small comfort.
Most car buyers wishing to do their bit for the environment will likely be considering the electric car option over the course of the next few years. Without a gearbox, they are easy and fun to drive and some are remarkably powerful but remember that EV theft is on the rise. Remember to budget for a car tracker when considering the switch to greener motoring.