Apparently, there's no place in Baltimore's city-management handbook (or probably any other city's, for that matter) that describes what to do when somebody goes medieval on an electric-vehicle charging station. That's perhaps why, even though the charging ports on two publicly accessible stations in the city's Water Street parking garage were smashed last September, they haven't been fixed, Plug In Cars reports. The stations, installed in August 2011, were manufactured by ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies). The issue is that, while Baltimore has an extended warranty on the stations, the warranty doesn't cover vandalism, so the pending repairs have been caught in a bit of a bureaucratic black hole.

The good news, at least, is that Baltimore is decently represented when it comes to EV charging stations. As of late last month, the city had more than 50. By comparison, Boston, which has about the same population but a little more than half the geographic area, had about 30, according to US Energy Department figures.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would have headlined this "EV drivers have problem with 'The Wire' in Baltimore". ;-)
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah vandalism could be a serious issue in the beginning. particularly copper theft
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Don't -1 Dan - copper theft is a big deal. I work in loss prevention (used to be a rocket scientist, but the rocket blew up), an thieves get very creative when stealing copper. His comment is real.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          @ EZEE Copper theft is kinda specialised to items with large amounts of copper. The tiny amount of copper in the charging cable, is just not a realistic target for copper thieves.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why vandalize a charger, or for that matter, anything? I just don't understand the motivation. BTW, smashing a charger sounds potentially dangerous.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        Nihilism. There is a lot of desperate poverty in Baltimore.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they just installed Blink stations there it wouldn't matter, in fact maybe it would help a Blink station to take a baseball bat to it.
        David Murray
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        I hate to say it, but you're probably right. Blink stations are always broken anyway,
      archos
      • 1 Year Ago
      EV charging stations have to worry about vandalism. Thats nothing compared to what hydrogen stations have to worry about....TERRORISM. I definitely wouldn't want to live anywhere near one, or let any hydrogen fueling trucks drive anywhere near my property. They should also be banned from routes where school buses go.
        David Murray
        • 1 Year Ago
        @archos
        Hydrogen isn't just going to explode like a bomb any more than a truck carrying gasoline would. Hydrogen doesn't burn unless in the presence of oxygen. Same for gasoline. So the trucks can't explode like a bomb because there is no oxygen inside. Not to say they wouldn't burn ferociously if they were punctured and set on fire, but that's about it.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just effing fix them, install cameras, and catch the bastards and throw them in jail. Senseless, purely malicious stuff like this pisses me off.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Dammit I didn't read the comments below that suggest it went vandalism nd there is no delete function so now I am pissed even more!
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the advantages of inductive charging is that some designs are far more vandal resistant, as they are underneath the road. Presumably whatever takes the payment can still be vandalised though.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        @ DaveMart and Letstakeawalk Yes indeed, inductive charging has many very useful advantages, not the least aesthetic !.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Agreed, if they could be done at the same cost as conductive charging. Vandalism and even accidental damage... does not occur often enough to justify such a price premium for both the public chargers... and the EV onboard charging system.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Joeviocoe: You severely underestimate the demand for convenience by the consumers, and the desire for the automakers to provide "unnecessary" conveniences.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        I agree - inductive charging is the best way to go forward with public EVSE infrastructure. No ugly boxes, no hazardous wiring to trip over or break.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I don't know how valid the claims of inductive charging interference with pacemakers is, but it seems relatively easy to shield a pacemaker.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Inductive charging is awhile away,,,,,there is more research that needs to be done on the potential interference that may happen during the charging process. I also like the inductive charging and from what I read there might be some concern for people with artificial pacemakers.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          They have been running buses in Italy using inductive charging for the past ten years. No sign of piles of dead pacemaker wearing Italians yet. The safety standards are pretty well developed, although of course there will always be some who dispute how safe things are, just as some say that we are all going to die about next Thursday from using mobile phones.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Only a government would dump a bunch of stolen money into a project like this and not bother protecting it.. Go to any gas station and see how businesses protect their property. There are surveillance cameras and attendants to deter theft and vandalism. If vandalism does occur - the equipment is replaced as there is no profit generated when it is broken. Privatized is the way to go with these charging stations.
      • 1 Year Ago
      what is alarming about this situation is........ http://www.plugincars.com/why-baltimores-vandalized-charging-stations-have-taken-too-long-fix-127614.html If you go to this link and look at the picture ......the damn charging station is still powered up and nobody had the nerve to terminate the power feed to the broken charging station, If this charging station was broken for 10 months and nobody turned the power off them something is definetly wrong.
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have been bringing awareness on this same exact issue along with many others for the last 3 years and it seems like some people just do not get it. The big problem the industry faces is the lack of education and training our emergency responders face. We created the only one of a kind safety program for the EV infrastructure and we cover subjects like vandalism, theft, Accidents, Fire, weather related accidents to name a few. We need to get the industry to wake up and understand there is a bigger issue and something needs to be done NOW and we have done that by creating our safety program. Our website chargingmyev.com will give more information on what we do and the commitment we have given to the industry and the general public. Our emergency responders do not have a clue on how to properly terminate the power feed in the event of an accident. Our cites will face a bigger problem when drug addicts and theives realize there is copper in the cable and they will start to cutting the cables and most cities did not take preventive measures in the early stages and now have been contacting us to fix an issue that has gotten out of hand. Please demand your fire stations receive training on EV charging stations immediately and also call your departments and ask about if they have a safety plan in place. We as the general public face the biggest risk and it is up to us to voice our concern. This program can be a success if we all work together.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      "... and we did not anticipate purposeful destruction of the chargers.” And why not? Is vandalism non-existent in Baltimore? What about CCV footage - I'd assume the garage is at least monitored. Our garages here in SC have full-time staff that constantly watch the cameras, and if something's going on, they quickly get on the PA telling you to knock it off. Yes, I've been called out more than a couple times for riding my bike in the garage...
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @ Letstakeawalk CCV camera's are a difficult issue for civil libertarians. On the one hand they do pose a 'big brother' type of restriction on privacy, and on the other hand provide a low cost method of ensuring greater public safety. It all depends on the ethical use of such infrastructure by authorities. The greatest fear is that it promotes the argument, used by all those who would seek to restrict civil liberty, .."if you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear " !
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't a local EV group raise some money and offer to fix them?
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