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Thieves target EV charging cables

12/03/2021 in Electric fleet news
electric fleet - charging and infrastructure


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Company car drivers are being warned not to leave the charging cables for their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles unsecured, as criminals are targeting the high-value items.
Waste removal company Divert.co.uk say that you shouldn’t leave your electric charging cable outside your home unnecessarily, as scrap metal thieves have labelled them as must-have items.
“Car chargers are particularly appealing to thieves because they can be sold for up to £200 and they are selling them everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and to dodgy scrap dealers,” said Mark Hall, founding director of Divert.co.uk. “And they can be pretty costly and inconvenient for you to replace, so it’s best to keep it locked away from the crooks.”
The copper in telephone cables and lead from church roofs are common targets for organised thieves and the metal in electric car chargers is becoming increasingly sought after by thieves looking to make quick money according to hall.

Hi everyone
Having seen this thread last night had a little think and the idea showed below may help it’s not fool proof but I would think it might be a deterrent and useful when using public change points where you have to use you own type1/2 chademo or any type for that matter even a granny cable.
what you do is find the towing eye on the vehicle screw-in the eye bolt if needed get a padlock the one shown has an alarm in built into it, plug the cable into the vehicle pass the cable over the towing eye and fit the lock,
Hope this helps the type of lock used here would be very loud in a multi storey car park pictures below hope this idea might be of use to someone
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Les
 

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The copper thieves just cut the live cables and run off with it, they aren't at all bothered by the very small risk of electric shock from doing this, as they know that all charge points and wiring will be RCD protected. Just takes a pair of rubber gloves and bolt croppers and they can be off with it in seconds. These copper thieves have no problem in cutting live cables alongside railway lines to steal them, either, and last year a local farm lost power when a hundred metres or so of ABC was just ripped down from poles and cut at either end, whilst still live (and that was only protected with a fuse that was probably rated at around 400A, so there would have been a fair old bang when their croppers cut through it).

Charge cable connectors should remain locked at both ends when plugged in, at least for Type 2 connectors, as there's a safety locking pin that engages when the car's locked. Not unknown for cable to just be wrenched out, though, damaging the pin and the cable connector. I'm not sure any additional lock is going to be any deterrent to a determined thief, and may well just be a nuisance.
 

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I’ve wondered about this and is why I make sure in my drive that auto lock is off, so when plugged in it is locked in whether charging is on or not.

onviously this is a bit antisocial on a public charger unless you always arrive back when charging is finished.

I am concerned when at home with car in
the drive but cable locked, they will come along with cable cutters. Of course they will only get scrap value then, or else I will have the inconvenience of an electrocuted thief cluttering up the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The copper thieves just cut the live cables and run off with it, they aren't at all bothered by the very small risk of electric shock from doing this, as they know that all charge points and wiring will be RCD protected. Just takes a pair of rubber gloves and bolt croppers and they can be off with it in seconds. These copper thieves have no problem in cutting live cables alongside railway lines to steal them, either, and last year a local farm lost power when a hundred metres or so of ABC was just ripped down from poles and cut at either end, whilst still live (and that was only protected with a fuse that was probably rated at around 400A, so there would have been a fair old bang when their croppers cut through it).

Charge cable connectors should remain locked at both ends when plugged in, at least for Type 2 connectors, as there's a safety locking pin that engages when the car's locked. Not unknown for cable to just be wrenched out, though, damaging the pin and the cable connector. I'm not sure any additional lock is going to be any deterrent to a determined thief, and may well just be a nuisance.
Ok Jeremy calm down I didn’t say it was foolproof just a deterrent for the petty thief in a car park, not seen anything else anywhere as yet, but I’m sure everybody’s open to ideas so come on suggest away but let’s make it simple cheap and readily available.
 

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Given that the Type 2 cable will be locked in to the car, by the locking pin, I'm not sure what an additional lock is going to do, other than be a nuisance to fit and remove. I can understand those with Type 1 connectors wanting to do something, but then most Type 1 connectors already have a hole in the latch to fit a padlock, anyway.
 

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Be interesting to see some actual numbers, to see if this is a real issue, or not. Stealing a Type 2 cable to sell on eBay or wherever doesn't seem that likely, as nine times out of ten the connector will end up broken if a forceful attempt is made to pull it out of the car (assuming the car is locked). The value of scrap copper in a 5m 32 A three phase cable is around £6 to £7, so not a lot, really.
 

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Do any of the insurance companies that offer dedicated EV cover pay out for replacing stolen charging cables without losing NCD? A bit like they do for windscreens.
 

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onviously this is a bit antisocial on a public charger unless you always arrive back when charging is finished.
Only if it's a tethered cable. If you are using your own you should turn the auto-lock off. Then when charging finishes and the charger releases its end, someone can't take your cable.
For a tethered one then auto-lock ON would allow someone else to unplug from your car to use the charger when yours finishes.
 

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Ha, never mind charging cable thefts, that’s relatively trivial.... how long is it going to be before theft of the entire EVSE from the house wall becomes a 'thing'. Often they are of higher value. Look at Zappi £725. Would easily fetch hundreds in a slightly 'used' condition on eBay etc. Not hard to remove.

20 years ago, who would have imagined that catalytic converter theft from underneath parked cars in broad daylight would become a thing? Now it’s a quiet epidemic. That was one of the contributory reasons I moved from Prius to my first EV last year. Mark my words, as EVs become more commonplace, this crime will happen. Peter
 

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I've had my charge cable disconnected from the Leaf soon after the Top Gear episode which recommended it. It was just forced out of the Leaf socket, even though it was locked. I have a padlock and loop the cable round the protective cage in front of the charger and lock the loop to the cable, but it could also be looped through or round a wheel.
 

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I was liking the bight of cable padlocked through an alloy, which I have seen before. Obviously I wasn't liking someone forcibly removing your cable!
 

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20 years ago, who would have imagined that catalytic converter theft from underneath parked cars in broad daylight would become a thing? Now it’s a quiet epidemic. That was one of the contributory reasons I moved from Prius to my first EV last year. Mark my words, as EVs become more commonplace, this crime will happen. Peter
Yeah I reckon they could have guessed it, if the question was asked the right way. Car theft and car stereo theft was a huge problem and that involved criminals smashing their way into cars, I remember car stereos having removable front covers to deter people, fitting crook locks to the steering wheel and gear stick.

"If car manufacturers start installing small boxes containing precious metals worth several hundred pounds on the underside of cars, do you think some criminals might start going under vehicles and stealing them? ..... well, yes!"

The surprising thing is not criminals nicking them but that car manufacturers, being well aware of how their customers had been targeted previously didn't think or didn't care if it would be a problem and taking few or no measures to prevent it.
 

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Prob a daft idea .. if you had enough slack would it damage the cable if you drive your tyre gently ontop of it.???
Not daft. In the Netherlands cable theft is an issue and one of the recommendations to prevent it from happening is putting two pieces of wood a little apart from each other, guide the cable through the wedge between them and park the car over it.

It actually makes me sick to realise we're living in a society in which every new development means new forms of crime will pop up. The 0.1% of humanity that is ill-intended actually messes things up pretty well for the vast majority that are just do-gooders. Please note I include voracious CEOs of billion dollar companies without ethics among the 0.1%. Sociopathy is pervasive to all levels of society.
 

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Do any of the insurance companies that offer dedicated EV cover pay out for replacing stolen charging cables without losing NCD? A bit like they do for windscreens.
Good question. LV's electric car cover includes:
  • Cover for charging cables, wall boxes and adaptors for accidental damage, fire and theft
but doesn't say it won't affect NCD. Recovery to a charging point if you run out of charge is clear that it has no excess and does not affect NCD.
 

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Be interesting to see some actual numbers, to see if this is a real issue, or not. Stealing a Type 2 cable to sell on eBay or wherever doesn't seem that likely, as nine times out of ten the connector will end up broken if a forceful attempt is made to pull it out of the car (assuming the car is locked). The value of scrap copper in a 5m 32 A three phase cable is around £6 to £7, so not a lot, really.
They'll still nick it even for £6. I caught some oik in the act of trying to nick an old (but still useful) 12v car battery I'd temporarily left by my garage door (at end of driveway). It was in the middle of the day. Unbelievably brazen. They cruise round in a van and will literally just steal anything they can get away with.
 

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They'll still nick it even for £6. I caught some oik in the act of trying to nick an old (but still useful) 12v car battery I'd temporarily left by my garage door (at end of driveway). It was in the middle of the day. Unbelievably brazen. They cruise round in a van and will literally just steal anything they can get away with.
The bigger worry is that those folks would start stealing the much heavier DC rapid charger cables which would be a nuisance for many more drivers given the long time it generally takes to repair faulty rapids.
 
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