As electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid plug-ins become more popular, so does the problem of EV charging cable theft. Unstaffed charging stations create an opportunity for EV charger thievery. Much like catalytic converters, charging cables are full of valuable copper wire. Every year, copper thefts account for more than 1 billion in losses according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  It is highly valued because the prices for copper have soared.  The problem is become so widespread that all 50 states have laws to help decrease metal theft.  A thief with a heavy-duty cable cutter and a local scrap metal yard connection can turn your cables into cash in quick order.

This issue not only affects the convenience of EV owners but also poses a threat to the growth of EV adoption. It is crucial to address this problem and find ways to protect EV charging cables. Charger locking devices will only keep an EV cable safe from the occasional grab-n-go heist.  But there are some strategies and ideas to protect EV charging cable theft.

Understanding the Value of Your EV Charging Cable

EV charging cables are an essential component of an EV charging system. They are responsible for transferring electricity from the charging station to the EV’s battery.

The cost of EV charging cables can range from $200 to $500, depending on the length and type of cable. The theft of an EV charging cable can be costly for EV owners, as they will need to replace the cable to continue charging their vehicle.

Moreover, the impact of theft on EV owners goes beyond the financial cost. It can also be a significant inconvenience, as EV owners may not be able to charge their vehicles and may need to find alternative charging options.

This can be especially challenging for those who rely on their EVs for daily transportation.

The Importance of Protecting Your EV Charging Cable

Protecting your EV charging cable is crucial for several reasons.

Firstly, it ensures that you can continue to charge your vehicle without any interruptions.

Secondly, it helps to prevent the theft of valuable equipment. EV charging cable theft not only affects EV owners but also has a broader impact on the environment and the economy.

The theft of EV charging cables can lead to a decrease in the use of EVs, which can have a negative impact on the environment. EVs are an essential part of the transition to a more sustainable future, and any obstacles to their adoption must be addressed.

Additionally, the cost of replacing stolen cables can be a significant expense for charging station operators, which can ultimately lead to higher charging fees for EV owners.

Tips for Avoiding EV Charger Theft 

It’s common sense not to leave computers and cell phones visible in your car where thieves may smash and grab them. In the same way, you need to practice caution when protecting your charging unit from theft. Here are some tips to protect your charger from future theft.

Plan to Charge at Home

Electric car and plug-in hybrid charging differ in every owner’s situation. For ongoing security, the best strategy is to do all your charging overnight at home. In the best situation, your car can charge inside your garage.

If the location of your charging station or plug sits outside, securing and obscuring your EV charging cable is essential to prevent theft. One of the most effective ways to do this is to keep your cable out of sight by installing a charging station behind a fence or dense landscape barrier with a lockable cabinet to store your cable. Another option is to use a cable wrap or sleeve to make your cable less visible. You can also use a cable lock to secure your cable to a fixed object, such as a post or a wall. DIY solutions such as using a PVC pipe or a wooden box to store your cable can also be effective.

Installing a clearly seen security camera at your home can be an effective way to deter thieves. A security camera can capture footage of any suspicious activity, which can be used as evidence in case of theft. It can also help to identify the thief and recover the stolen cable.Security cameras are available in different types and price ranges. They can be installed by a professional or as a DIY project. Investing in a security camera is a

Prevent Unplugs During Public Charging

Not only are thieves after your charging cord, but there is also a concern that your charging cable will be disconnected and used by others while you are away. However, most automakers provide locking devices that will secure your plug-in its place when you close and lock your car doors. Or, in the case of Tesla’s at-home chargers (Gen 3), a firmware update makes your unit unusable by any other car — Tesla or not.

Use a Pad Lock

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Cable theft

It may sound simple, but there are situations where a well-sized padlock can attach and lock your cable to a fence, an installed cable tether on the underside of your car, or, in the case of some cars, the small hole under the “trigger” of the cable. A padlock that fits that hole will make it difficult for anyone to remove the cable when you leave your vehicle. Even simpler, pass a plastic sleeved chain through the spokes of the car's wheel and round the cable. Then secure it with a padlock. Then even if thieves break the locking mechanism, they won’t be able to steal the cable with its connectors intact.  Alternatively, if you have charging cable to spare and your wheels are suitable, pass a loop through the spokes of the wheel and put the padlock around it. Again, it will stop anyone stealing the cable intact.

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Cable theft protection

Some drivers swear by parking on their charging cable. This is effective but can damage the cable. Instead, you could buy a section of cable protector (the plastic ramps that stop cables being a trip hazard), cut it down to size, carry it in the frunk or trunk, then put it over the cable and park on it.  There are also new clever items that are secured by parking on them and then securing the cable to them.

Aftermarket Cord Locking Products

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Locking cable

There are a wide variety of aftermarket cable locking devices, and chances are one might work for your charging situation. For example, a device made specifically for Tesla charger adapters is in the form of a simple ring that locks the adapter to the handle. You can also find loop-ended cord locks that can attach your cable to any number of solid surfaces around the charging site.

Investing in a locking EV charging cable is another effective way to prevent theft. Locking cables come with a built-in lock that can only be opened with a key or a code. They are available in different lengths and types, and they can be used with most EVs and charging stations. While locking cables are more expensive than regular cables, they are a worthwhile investment for EV owners who use public charging stations or who live in areas with a high risk of theft. 

Use a Dashcam with a Movement Sensor

Just the presence of a dashcam can help deter thieves, but a camera that will record with movement sensors works even better. Dashcams can be wonky and leave exposed wires, so shop smartly. The value of a dashcam goes well beyond cable theft. Most importantly, you would have footage of the thievery, should it be disputed with your car insurer.

Using a GPS Tracker to Locate Stolen EV Charging Cables

Using a GPS tracker is another effective way to recover stolen EV charging cables. A GPS tracker can be attached to your cable, and it can track its location in real-time. If your cable is stolen, you can use the GPS tracker to locate it and recover it.

GPS trackers are available in different types and price ranges. They can be purchased online or at electronics stores. Using a GPS tracker is a practical solution for EV owners who want to protect their charging equipment and have peace of mind.

Keep Charging Cables Out of Sight

Smash-and-grab crimes happen more often when you leave valuable items within sight from your windows. Consider your charging cable one of those items, and always secure it away from view in your trunk or frunk.

Go One Step Further: Lock Your Cable Inside the T/Frunk

While still not commonplace, t/frunk break-ins are on the rise as electric cars and plug-ins become more plentiful. As a result, there are now portable and lockable EV charging cable organizers available that can tether inside your t/frunk. In this scenario, two locks are needed — one for the organizer and one for tethering the box to your t/frunk. It is a compact and lightweight bag that can hold your cable and other charging accessories. This is a convenient way to store and transport your cable as it can be easily carried in your car t/frunk or stored in your garage. If you find something that works inside your t/frunk or the cargo hold of your SUV, it may be worth the small investment to save the day if a t/frunk break-in happens to you.

Using a cable organizer not only protects your cable from damage but also makes it less visible to potential thieves. It is an affordable and practical solution for EV owners who want to protect their cable while on the go.

The Benefits of Insurance Coverage for EV Charging Cable Theft

Investing in insurance coverage is a smart decision for EV owners who want to protect their investment and Insurance coverage for EV charging cable theft is an important consideration for EV owners to provide financial protection in case of theft and help to cover the cost of replacing stolen cables.  Insurance coverage can also provide liability protection in case of damage to the charging station or other property.  Coverage for EV charging cable theft is available from most insurance companies.  It is essential to review your policy and ensure that it covers theft of charging equipment. 

Educating Others on the Importance of EV Charging Cable Security

Spreading awareness about EV charging cable theft is crucial to address this issue. EV owners can educate their friends, family, and colleagues about the importance of protecting their charging equipment. They can also share tips and best practices for securing their cables.

Charging station operators can also play a role in educating the public about EV charging cable theft. They can post signs and flyers with information on how to prevent theft and encourage EV owners to report any suspicious activity.

By taking action to protect your charging equipment, you can enjoy the convenience and benefits of owning an EV without any interruptions from this.rare but unfortunate reality