• Jun 18, 2012
And now a tale that could only take place in the 21st Century, complete with electric cars, Tweets and questionable actions.

Forbes staffer Todd Woody recently had a Ford Focus Electric to review and was in Berkeley, CA at a cafe waiting for the car to charge up when his phone buzzed. It was a notification that the charging had been interrupted. When Woody went to investigate, the cord was instead plugged into a Coda Automotive sedan. A Coda that was decked out in manufacturer license plates and very obviously a dealer demo car. Woody Tweeted his displeasure.

Turns out, the car belonged to the store manager for the Coda Silicon Valley dealer, who later emailed Woody to say he had assumed the Focus was finished charging since the light on the charger box itself was not on. The official Coda twitter account Tweeted a sort-of apology, saying "Didn't mean to cause any harm @CODASV must've been in a pinch. #needmorepublicharging."

Now, Woody agrees with the need for more public charging, but he was in a pinch, too, with only 12 miles left in his pack. He writes that there needs to be more than just politeness to stop charging rage from happening more often:

Twice in the past week I've rolled up to parking spots reserved for electric cars in San Rafael in Marin County that were occupied by gas-guzzlers, including a BMW blocking an electric car charger in an otherwise nearly empty parking garage on a Sunday afternoon.

Coda isn't issuing an official statement on the matter, but Larkin Hill, the director of corporate communications for Coda Holdings, sent AutoblogGreen a comment, which you can find below.

First – the response from @CODAautomotive was not the best reaction and we've since altered our social media response reactions as it was not indicative of how our corporate CODA team felt about the situation. Without knowing what happened, the first element would be regret that the Ford Focus was unplugged and a promise to look into why.

While CODA still believes most consumers will charge at home and drive within the range, sharing charging stations is inevitable as EV's become more popular in the market. No matter what, however, it's unacceptable to unplug someone if they're charging. It's disrespectful, dangerous and just plain rude. We want all EV owners to enjoy their vehicles and I hope that apps like PlugShare, etc can be potentially useful. They can stay up-to-date, provide immediate feedback and aren't dependent on OEM technology.

We also agree with what Todd wrote – that we do need more public stations.

I was personally horrified by the situation – Todd is a voice of reason, logic and a respected member of the media. To have this happen to him is embarrassing. I also believe the dealer rep when he says that he was horrified that he'd unplugged a car that was meant to be charging
.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      Seph
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the Coda, though a bit impolite, made a good point...
      Nicholas Littlejohn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Forwarded to director of parking for SR, maybe they can up the policing of these spots for real EVs..
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey ABG, if you'd do more thorough reporting on things that matter, rather than silly drama like this, that would be nice.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        if you would think before you would speak that would be nice too. this is a perfectly legit and interesting event.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Forgive me for overestimating your intelligence, Dan. ( and the rest of the downvote mob ) I forget that you guys are trained by big media outlets like this to consider silly little catfights legitimate news stories. ( meanwhile, ABG totally passes by all sorts of interesting green tech news even when spoon fed the articles by members in the tip section or in comments.. )
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2WM, my intelligence is vastly greater than yours. it was last year, it is now and will be forever. my seriousness is too. it is a very relevant and interesting issue. showing up to a charge site only to find it occupied, maybe for many hours, even days. if a dry tesla is plugged in you might as well push it home. same with the issue of someone removing the plug while charging. and how neat it is that the ford could notify him of the event. there are many very legit EV aspects here. and not only did you err greatly in your first tea party zombie comment but you add attacks in defense of it. and that it happened to be between a journalist and a coda salesman only adds to the story. I for one thought Coda had gone bankrupt : )
          Chris M
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Oh, Dan, I think you've confused "Intelligence" with "Arrogance". Again.
          SVX pearlie
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          If retard Dan is so smart, how come he can't make affordable, light, EVs a reality today?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You seem to think we don't enjoy reading lighter fare, like this... Most of us are quite capable of reading several sites, to get a range of news stories from the highly technical to the silly and absurd. Why don't you stop whinging and whining about content you don't like, and just focus on reading the articles you do enjoy? Or heaven forbid, start that site you've been going on about.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I really should get to it. Thanks for the motivation.
      JP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, attack of the pro gas troglodytes! The old guard is obviously getting nervous.
      Don Meaker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Electric cars are a technology whose time has come, and with the invention of the electric self starter, gone.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Full electric is not going to be pratical until a standardized swappable battery system can be implemented, where batteries are changed out automatically at a service station in about 5 minutes or so. Damage to batteries would be covered by insurance if you get in an accident.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What we really need is a viable, plentiful alternative to electricity for our cars, such as gasoline. Yeah, it's high-minded and a little "out there", but I'm sticking by my guns.
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        Well, the problem is that this 'gasoline' you speak of costs 5 times as much to drive a car! So it is a really expensive alternative solution. Oh, and it requires massive subsidies in the form of the 5th fleet based in the Persian/Arabian gulf and occasional invasions in the mid-East. It is a total socialist fuel.
          Greg
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          Gas only costs about 3x as much as electricity for powering a vehicle.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is not happening with fossil fuel and also hydrogen as it take 3 minutes and we attend this from beginning to the ends. I think that the coda unpluggued the focus because it was low on battery and he cannot get back home without a 4 hours recharge. If he has waited it will take as much as 8 hours for the focus and 4 to 8 hours for the coda. This is a very long re-fueling time that we might just witness in a big oil kind of pr act. Sales of pure battery car can fall toward zero in the near future. Many folks cannot plug their tv or computer or air conditionner, so just think about normal consumer having to deal with level one cord, level 2 connector and receptable and method of payment and time management and level 3 j-1772, sae and cHaDeMo protocol for plugging management energy time method of payments and battery rental management by wireless charger put on the highway or in an empty grassland, lol.
        Ele Truk
        • 1 Day Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Yea, right. I've never heard of someone siphoning gas from a tank.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Ele Truk' Not in recent years, modern vehicles have anti-syphon devices fitted.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://farm1.staticflickr.com/119/294168009_b25decaddf_z.jpg
      Greg
      • 2 Years Ago
      I certainly hope the dealer got a very specific and directed conversation from CODA about the event. His actions give the company a black eye, and that's not what a fledgling company can afford.
        SVX pearlie
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Greg
        Hear, hear! "How *dare* you use the "FREE" charger when there's no indicator light showing." *slaps wrist*
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      If only there were some sort of metered way to indicate that someone had paid for the exclusive use of a particular space or service... Perhaps a for-pay charging meter? If there's time on the clock, leave it be. If not, feel free to plug in and swipe your card.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seems awfully rude. The last thing the EV community needs is bad PR and creating reasons for people to NOT adopt the technology. You can't control what the non-EV crowd does by parking in spots designated for charging. Has there been laws enacted so that someone can get a ticket for parking in a charging spot? All that aside, within the Pug-In community we need to be on our best behavior and avoid these displays of rudeness. It would be nice if this were true universally that we would all be pleasant to each other but, in modern society, that isn't going to happen.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Yes, there were laws enacted so that someone can get a ticket for parking in a charging spot, at least in California where this happened. There was coverage on here because Chelsea Handler felt the laws were screwed up by GM lobbying. These laws are only enforced upon request of the owner of the parking spots.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Rotation, you mean Chelsea Sexton?
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          That's what I thought. As time goes by and there is greater adoption of Plug-Ins then I can see more action taken. Until then, it will just be shaking of heads and "that's rude" coming from people.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I totally do. That's a pretty funny error on my part.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Yes, in my area, they city of Raleigh recently enacted a $50 fine for ICE vehicles parking in EV spots. Luckily there are quite a few EVSEs in town, between 50-75 now.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        "Has there been laws enacted so that someone can get a ticket for parking in a charging spot? " Only if that is indicated "Handicapped", and there's no cripple in the car.
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