In Europe, most EV charging stations don't have a wire permanently attached. Unlike North America, European EV drivers need to carry a cable around with them. This is a bit of a hassle, but it's far easier than pulling up to an EVSE and finding the cable simply cut out. That's what's happening to some Level 2 EVSEs in Canada. We have no idea how widespread this problem is – and we note that this isn't the first we've heard about vandals attacking EV charging stations – but vandalizing charging stations sure seems like a needless setback to the EV community.

Transport Evolved reports that a number of EVSEs in and around Vancouver, BC have had their cords removed recently, likely for the valuable copper inside. The vandals hit the charging stations with bolt cutters and sometimes manage to attack the same station multiple times, since the station owners spend the money to fix the damage. Transport Evolved says that the high price for some of the copper ($4 Canadian per pound) means that stealing one EVSE cable can offer a "tidy profit." Street lights in the area have been targeted as well.

Copper theft is not a problem limited to cool Canadian cites. The American automotive capitol can tell you stories, since Detroit has suffered all sorts of problems because of copper thieves, from potentially worse floods to darkness. Earlier this year, Michigan enacted a new law that puts a $25 limits on metal-for-cash transactions at scrap yards and requires scrap yard owners to mail checks to people selling them oft-stolen items like copper wire.


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  • 35 Comments
      RC
      • 5 Months Ago
      And then we wonder why America has become a Police State and why we live under constant surveillance.
        tony
        • 5 Months Ago
        @RC
        Not thee, it all be a $$$$$ game. The govt don`t give a rat holes behind about thee`s safety. All they want is thou`s $$$$, & if using a cam will get $$$ for them, then they will use it.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 5 Months Ago
        @RC
        If the police state was effective at reducing crime, i'd have to agree with you at that point at the very least. So far, the proposed fruits of living in Orwell's nightmare just aren't showing up.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          @ 2 wheeled menace True, oh so true !
      David Murray
      • 5 Months Ago
      If this type of thing were happening commonly I think EV drivers could form some kind of task force to watch these stations and catch the bastards. Its one thing to steal copper from a construction site or something like that.. But messing with EV charging stations is going to piss off people that are passionate about this type of thing. It is messing with the wrong crowd.
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        Why have a task force when cameras are a good deterrance?
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        Why have a task force when cameras are a good deterrence?
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @David Murray
        Why have a task force when cameras are a good deterrence?
      Devin
      • 5 Months Ago
      I live in Los Angeles and see this here too, though my native city of Vancouver is definitely a hot spot for petty theft. Whenever I drive in Vancouver I am very diligent about making sure there is NOTHING visible in the car when it's parked. It doesn't surprise me at all that EVSEs are being targeted there. Petty auto-related theft is so prevalent in Vancouver that at my mother's condo complex they have a camera pointed at the entry gate and fine residents who don't wait for the gate to close $50 per incident. I really like that Michigan law limiting metal exchange to $25 for individuals and mailing cheques. I'd like to see that adopted everywhere.
      Mart
      • 5 Months Ago
      Here, they steal the copper coils out of air conditioners from schools and orphanages. $3000 damage for $30 of copper.
        RoyEMunson
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Mart
        They would probably not give a damn if it was $100k for $10 of copper... these are the worst kind of people and they should be systematically executed. Bullet, $1. Ridding the world of one scum bag, priceless.
          tony
          • 5 Months Ago
          @RoyEMunson
          Bullets do not cost 1 dollar. Would thee maybe have meant to say round? Either way, THINK be fore thee posts.
          bluepongo1
          • 5 Months Ago
          @RoyEMunson
          @ RoyEMunson ...Ferguson, MO P.D. would like your resume' ... Too soon ? @ tony... .50 BMG rounds cost $5.00 each, some of the higher cal. special use bullets can be over $1.00 per... and what's with "thee" ?
        RoyEMunson
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Mart
        I thought about it and I stand behind my comment. Round, bullet, slug, whatever get the job done.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 5 Months Ago
      They should have thought of this when they designed the infrastructure. 1) Bring your own cable, just have a port on the charging unit to plug it in. 2) Run all wires underground 3) ??? 4 Profit!
        GoodCheer
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Or leave the final switch in the plug handle itself, so that the cable is live right up to the 'pistol' unit. Sure you could still wear big rubber gloves, but burning the blades off your wire dykes every couple of cuts would make the economics much less attractive. ... but then, you can't do anything that could endanger thieves, or you would be responsible for their injuries and need to pay them lots of money.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Well . . . I don't think they anticipated copper theft to become a big problem in North America and Europe. But hard times I guess.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 5 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        It's been a problem for a decade or so.. not new!
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      Thieving metal scrappers are real low lifes. For every dollar they make, they likely do 100 dollars in damage.
        chest rockwell
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I said the same thing the two times my car radio got snagged when I lived in downtown Atlanta. Hundreds in damages for radios that probably fetched $10 with the broken wires.
          Joeviocoe
          • 5 Months Ago
          @chest rockwell
          Crack Cocaine is a hell of a drug. Those guys cannot do math when strung out.
          Joeviocoe
          • 5 Months Ago
          @chest rockwell
          Crack Cocaine is a hell of a drug. Those guys cannot do math when strung out.
      Joeviocoe
      • 5 Months Ago
      "Bunch of savages in this town"
      audisp0rta4
      • 5 Months Ago
      Gotta love crackheads! -_-
      Narom
      • 5 Months Ago
      Europeans dont carry a plug around, Thats because it makes more sense to have the plug built into the car.
      Dave R
      • 5 Months Ago
      Thieves are a large reason why we can't have nice things. I hate thieves.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 5 Months Ago
      Vancouver is to petty theft what Detroit is to murders.
      Scooter
      • 5 Months Ago
      Random questioning at scrap yards. Heck park a police car near by and watch the underworld of scrap selling slip into a panic. Either way the buyers might be just as much to blame as the sellers.
        Kris
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        My father is police officer and he works on cases like this very often. He has a deal with the scrap depo owners in the town. When something gets stolen he warns them and when the thieve tries to sell it to any of the scrap depos, he gets handcuffs instead of money.
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