Electric car chargers out of action as thieves cut cables

Can you believe it, that electric car chargers are being targeted by thieves? Since November last year, Instavolt, the UK’s largest operator of rapid chargers, has experienced 174 cable thefts from 27 of its sites in Yorkshire and the Midlands, according to Autospies.

It’s unfortunate that electric car chargers are being targeted by thieves who cut the cables, especially given how costly they are. Each stolen cable costs at least £1000, making it an expensive problem. However, Instavolt is more concerned about the damage these thefts are causing to public confidence in electric vehicles (EVs).

Why are thieves cutting electric car charging cables?

The thieves are after the copper in the cables, which they believe they can sell to illegal scrap dealers.Interestingly, the misconception is that the copper brings significant financial gain, but in reality, the cables consist of thin wire that takes time to extract, says AutoCar.

To combat this issue, Instavolt is implementing several measures, including installing CCTV cameras, using security solutions like Smartwater to tag cables, and applying smart tracking devices. They hope these devices will lead them directly to the scrap dealers handling the stolen cables. Additionally, they are working with the police to track down the criminals too, fingers crossed!

Other charging companies, such as Gridserve, BP Pulse, and Osprey, have also been victims of cable thefts.

Osprey confirmed coordinated vandalism targeting public charging sites in several areas and is working with the police and other operators to share CCTV footage.

While the amount of copper stolen is minimal, the disruption undermines the reliability of the charging network.

Thieves dismantle the cables to strip out the copper, which can be sold to recycling centers for a substantial price.

Alternatively, they may sell the cables to owners wanting spares or replacements.

How can we prevent thieves from cutting cables?

Safety measures include using locking mechanisms, tethered locking plugs, padlocks, anti-theft alarms, and CCTV systems, would be a suggestion from EV America.

The trade association for the charger industry is collaborating with the Home Office and a dedicated police unit to address this problem too. Let’s hope these efforts help deter further thefts and ensure reliable charging infrastructure for EVs!

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