Electric Vehicle - Staying connected with the Cord

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With the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles an often heard argument is that some vandals will unplug your car while it charges, or worse, they will cut and steal your cable for the copper in it. Is this really a problem and would it need to be addressed, or is this some made up problem to scare people away from the electric vehicles? With the limited number of vehicles on the road still, it is hard to come with a statistically solid verdict. Though for most people it has not proven to be a problem yet, though I have heard of one single case where it has happened that his car got unplugged in the middle of a charging session. Yet another case for inductive charging in the end?

Prank

First and foremost, why would people unplug a car while it charges? To prank. Simple as that. There is no anti-EV movement out there that is unplugging electric vehicles as they charge. Nothing more exciting than watching your neighbours Ev not getting charged and him not getting to work first in the morning. Most charger cables I have seen are locked when they are used to charge, you can not disconnect the cable as long as the current runs. The main reason I believe for this is safety and avoid sparking of the connectors, but it also helps to keep your cable plugged in at night.

 

A set of chargers for electric vehicles - Link

Theft

Secondly there is the issue of copper theft; with the rising prices of copper there are many reports on copper theft. Ranging from complete statues to power and signal lines near public transport infrastructure, the copper is quickly extracted from the location. Often risking their own lives and that of others, the copper is often sold to metal traders where they can fetch a nice price for it. Currently there are many initiatives to prevent this copper theft, amon which a system under discussion in the UK to have a better registration on copper and the sales of it.

 

Copper price has gone up, giving reason to steal cables from public location - Link

Frequency

How often does it really happen? Currently the electric vehicles make up for a minority in any country when compared to the total car population. In the Netherlands they make up around one seventh of a percent, scaling up any conclusions from such a tiny population is dodgy. As said, the majority of the electric vehicle drivers I have spoken to, have not had any problem with their car being unplugged so far. Perhaps they have been lucky, have parked in garages more often, or perhaps the fear of getting unplugged is just greater than the actual occurrence.

 

Inductive charging might help, provided it is constructed in the road/parking - Link

Solution

Even with most electric vehicles having some sort of App to monitor the charging process and owners get an alert as soon as the process is finished, or stopped unexpectedly, it would be quite a nuisance if you are having dinner or are asleep when the App alarm goes off. A safer solution in my opinion that is not commonly used yet is to go for inductive chargers, but for that to happen there need to be more electric vehicles to use that technology first and enabling a cost reduction.