Is EV Charger Cable Theft On The Rise?

 Leasing Options are warning UK drivers that electric car charger thefts could rocket in the next decade. IE wondered how big a theft risk an EV charger box and cable presents. So we did some digging.

Financially, it is a decent chunk of change. EV owners targeted by thieves could find themselves paying up to £700 for a replacement charger, so that does go over the usual household/motor insurance Excess of between £100-£250.

Currently, there are around 400,000 electric cars and 750,000 hybrid vehicles on the road. Plus, after 2030, all new cars will be powered by electricity. This increase in electric vehicles could make thefts more likely, although CCTV could be a standard fitment within the car by then, as Tesla already offer.

The first thing we noticed was that you can buy a replacement cable, brand new from China, from just £16.99. Nobody is going to lose their NCD for that cost. Some fancy systems with a wall mounted socket/reel included were £150-£180. So the idea that all new charger cables cost £700 doesn’t stack up. Some OEM cables might, but then not every driver buys BMW brake pads and discs when their old ones wear out.

Secondly, we found pre-owned cables on FB Marketplace, the home of fakes and stolen goods, starting from just £30. That’s the asking price, not the actual selling price. Now, if we were thieves, even stupid thieves, we probably wouldn’t waste our time stealing something that retails for £20-£30 on the black market. You could spend two hours shoplifting bacon and cheese from the Co-op and make twice the cash.

NO OFFICIAL STATS

Mike Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at Leasing Options, explains “While there are no official figures on electric car charger thefts, it is a growing crime. So much so that the Association of British Insurers has said insurance premiums could rise, according to a story published in the Mail Online earlier this year.

“Unfortunately, it is relatively straightforward for thieves to take charging cables, especially while they’re on charge. Software experts have also highlighted that some EV chargers had cyber security flaws, which meant they could be accessed remotely to unlock charge points.

“Clearly, this isn’t great news for electric car owners. However, there are some extra steps EV owners can take to protect their electric car charger from being targeted. Including removing the charger from your car at night, installing a dash camera and using a padlock.”

IE VERDICT: 

If a car looks vulnerable at a public charging point then maybe some chancers will have a go at the cable, especially if they have checked with a scrap dealer on the price for a bolt-croppered cable. But given how cheap the cables are to replace brand new, this seems about as a big a risk as having your spare wheel stolen – possible, but not very likely.

Here’s another thing to consider; having your EV on charge in the driveway indicates that someone is IN the house, which might actually reduce the overall burglary risk?

About alastair walker 8741 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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