Electric vehicles are gradually becoming more popular, and it is little wonder when we look at their positive environmental effect and ease of use. However, there is an issue with the theft of EV charging cables. Whether you have a charging point at home or you have plugged into one of the many around the country, protecting your equipment is an unfortunate necessity.
In this article, we will be looking at how to protect your EV charging cable from theft, with some simple, but effective measures for deterring and protecting against unwanted EV cable thieves.
Ways To Protect Your EV Charging Cable From Theft
Keep Your Equipment In A Garage
If you are charging at home and have a garage, there is an option to run an extension cord into the garage and place the charger just inside. This allows you to close the garage door onto the cable, with the charging block on the inside. If anyone attempted to steal it, they would find it impossible to pull the large block under the garage door. Of course, not everyone has a garage or driveway to charge their EV, so this isn't always an option.
Use A Charging Cable Lock
One of the most common and effective ways of securing your charging cable is to purchase an EV charging cable lock. These handy little devices are used to protect the cable from being disconnected by an unauthorised person. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be bought for a variety of models. The lock slots neatly between the adapter and handle and cannot be removed until you are ready. Thanks to their compact design, the locks can be easily stored along with your charging cable when not in use.
Many savvy EV owners have discovered that using a simple padlock is a cheap and effective way of protecting their charging cable. To make the most of this method, you should wrap the cord around the front tyre of the vehicle and then use the padlock to secure the two ends together.
In the main, if a potential thief sees a padlock present, this can be a deterrent in itself since most people won’t be willing to spend the time fiddling with the lock and risking getting caught.
If you make it clear that there are CCTV cameras in operation at your home, this can deter thieves from making an attempt at taking the cable, it will unfortunately not stop the act of theft itself.
However, if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of EV cable theft, the CCTV footage will give you a huge advantage when it comes to providing evidence and bringing the perpetrator to justice.
Front and Rear Dash Cam with Parking Mode
If CCTV is not an option for various reasons such as the cost, privacy or installation issues, then a front and rear dash cam is an alternative, cheaper option for monitoring your car. Again, this isn't going to physically stop the actual act of stealing, but it can be used as a deterrent and evidence if recordings are required.
A good front and rear dash cam with parking mode will not drain your car battery as it will sit in a power-off standby type mode, then when there's any impact on the vehicle such as the EV charger cable being removed, the dash cam will turn on and start recording both ends of your vehicle for a short period. This might not be an ideal solution in some cases, as the impact of the charger cable being removed might not be enough to set off the camera parking mode.
Park On The Cable
Whilst this isn’t something that you should do at every charge as it could damage the cable, if you're overly concerned about a particular public charging area and need to leave your vehicle unattended while charging, parking on or over the cable is one of the most secure options. There are special floor cable protectors that you can buy, allowing you to park on or drive over a charging cable without causing any potential damage to it.
Switch Off The Power
There is some concern for EV owners who have installed a home charging point that someone may come along and steal a charge - perhaps whilst the owners are away on holiday. This is extremely unlikely, but if it is a concern, you can have an internal switch installed within the home that will cut off the electric supply to the charge point.
Why Do People Steal EV Charging Cables?
One of the primary reasons that people will attempt to steal a charging cable is due to the copper found inside - this can be sold for a reasonable price. Sadly, many people will do this to fund unhealthy habits such as drugs, and these crimes are particularly rife in some regions of the country. There are many other reasons that someone may take your cable, such as:
Public Charging Space Competition
If you are charging in a public space and the charge is completed, another drive may disconnect your cable in order to take advantage of the charging point themselves. This all comes down to EV charging etiquette and how shared charging points are handled amongst vehicle owners in public.
Sadly, some people may remove or destroy your cable for the thrill - vandals are more common in some areas than others, so it is worth being aware of this potential if you live in an area where this crime is common.
Theft for Personal Use
Some greedy EV owners may steal a cable that is compatible with their own as a way of obtaining a spare or even main charger without having to part with any of their cash. This isn’t something that happens frequently, especially in public areas with plenty of CCTV and other motorists around, but it is still something to look out for.
Selling Online Due to Good Prices
Selling online has become one of the best ways to get anything you need and many criminals are taking anything they can get their hands on to make some quick cash - this includes EV charging cables. Due to the high price tags that EV charging cables have at the moment, they are a prime target for selling on the online market to make good money.
All this isn't to put you off buying and charging an EV at home as there are lots of simple measures you can take to protect your equipment as mentioned further up, plus the likelihood of you actually having your charging cable stolen is dependant on a few different factors.
Is My Charging Cable Likely To Be Stolen?
There are specific models of EV that come with a weak locking system, and this can result in more thefts of the cables. If you own a Nissan Leaf, you’ll likely be aware that these cars suffer more cable thefts than any other EV thanks to the less than satisfactory locking system. For this reason, if you own a model like this, it is even more critical to protect your cable.
Your local area will also play a role in the potential for theft - it’s no secret that some towns and cities are more at risk of crime than others. For example, Nottingham, Middlesbrough and Manchester have much higher crime rates than Reading, Swansea and Winchester. You can see more information about your local area here.
What This Means Going Forward
Modern times have dictated that a new, electrically-powered vehicle is the best thing going forward for drivers all over the country. However, along with this comes the potential for theft of the charging cables for reasons such as selling them on and spares.
Whilst this is a massive inconvenience for EV owners, there are some things that can be done to avoid this issue, such as using a cable lock, parking over the cable or installing CCTV on your property.
As the EV scene evolves and develops, there are still plenty of challenges to overcome, with EV charging security being one of the major concerns that will have to be addressed by vehicle manufacturers. Hopefully, safer and more secure locking systems is something that manufacturers are looking to implement as the number of charging stations grows. Another potential feature for car manufacturers to look at would be some sort of smart alarm system that would let EV owners know when their charging cable has been disconnected or forcefully removed.
Last Updated On: October 9, 2020.