Reports of stolen electric vehicle charging cables, especially Tesla cables, are spiking in Europe, and owners are not exactly sure how thieves are getting away with it.
Electric vehicles come with a charge connector that generally takes the form of an 18- to 24-ft cable that can charge your car on a regular 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt outlet with different adapters.
It’s generally the main charging solution at home for electric vehicle owners unless they decide to buy a dedicated home charging station.
They are not cheap.
For example, Tesla’s mobile connector sells for $520 on its website.
Needless to say, you don’t want to lose it, which is why it’s worrying when we see reports of a spike of charging cable thefts.
Netherlands’ AD reports that the police is warning electric vehicle owners that they are seeing an increase in the theft of charging cables, especially Tesla chargers:
The police in Amsterdam South alone received 21 reports of stolen charging cables, mainly from Tesla drivers, between 20 November and 4 December. A new cable is pricey: between 200 and 300 euros. The thieves’ motive is clear: second-hand the cables cost about 150 euros each. The thefts almost all take place at night. According to the police, the problem occurs throughout the country.
It’s unclear exactly how thieves are getting away with the charging cables since they are generally locked on the car’s side.
Some theft victims are suspecting that thieves are simply using brute force, but that could leave the charger damaged.
Many victims were Tesla Model 3 owners, and they suspect that thieves were able to get away with the cable due to a defect in the cold.
During Model 3’s first winter, we reported on Model 3 having some issues in cold weather, and Tesla said they were investigating the situation.
One of those issues is that the cold would leave the charging cable stuck in the charge port.
The automaker later released a software update with “cold weather improvements” in which it would fix the charge port freeing problem.
It’s not clear how Tesla is achieving this, but some service staff have told owners that the lock pin moves up and down to keep it from freezing in place.
Regardless of the actual solution, some Tesla owners have reported walking up to their locked car in the freezing cold and the charging cable wouldn’t be locked in place.
Some charging cable theft victims believe that this might be how the thieves managed to remove the cable, and it could explain the spike of thefts happening at the end of November and early December when temperatures start to reach freezing point at night.
Have you ever experienced this problem? Let us know in the comment section below.
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