Volt Owner Powerless After Charging Cord Vandal Cut them Off

Many electric cars now have the ability to let their owner know if something happens to interrupt the charging cycle. We’ve heard of people getting notified that their car is no longer changing after a brown/blackout or – sometimes – after someone has deliberately unplugged them. Not a nice thing to happen at all.

But one couple in Florida got a notification from their Chevy Volt after someone decided to physically cut their charging cord. The cord was severed just below the J1772 (Type 1) handle and has caused the owners to have to stump up $363 for a new EVSE cable.

While the Volt Doesn't Need Any Electricity to Drive, Running on Battery Power is Preferable to Most Owners

While the Volt Doesn’t Need Any Electricity to Drive, Running on Battery Power is Preferable to Most Owners

The couple also found that the charging flap on the car had been bent back, damaging the hinge that holds it in place so that it now doesn’t close flush with the car.

Matthew Cummings, who owns the car with Jennifer Brown, told Green Car Reports, ‘The vandal would have had to know that our car would be plugged in (we don’t charge every night), and would have had to come prepared with a suitable tool to cut through the cord.’

No one has been apprehended in connection with these events but it has been reported to the police who are looking into it.

The Onboard System Allows Owners to Set Charge Times - Cummings and Brown Had Theirs Set to the Early Hours Out of Consideration for Other Power Users

The Onboard System Allows Owners to Set Charge Times – Cummings and Brown Had Theirs Set to the Early Hours Out of Consideration for Other Power Users

The couple live in a condo in a gated community and checked that charging their Volt wasn’t against the housing association’s rules. When they discovered what had happened they reported it to the president of the Home Owner’s Association, George Kellum, who they report was not sympathetic to their plight and closed the door on them.

Green Car Reports says that the couple had, over the past three months, used 217 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which on Power & Light’s regional average rate cost just over $25. It is unclear if this cost was paid by the couple directly or shared between all the condos as part of the service charge.

Is this just a case of jealousy gone too far? Or is it an attack based on ignorance of the cost being incurred? Have you experienced anything like this at all? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • vdiv

    It is obscene. This occurring in Florida changes the calculus of trying to catch the perpetrator to seek any sort of compensation or punishment. It underlines the need for a legal framework and its enforcement to protect EV drivers and their ability to charge their car. The best response for all of us is to continue working with officials to make this happen.

  • Espen Hugaas Andersen

    They should install a dash cam which automatically starts recording when anything interesting starts happening around the car. There’s quite a number of people who’ve done so on their Model S. People really don’t like vandals who mess with their cars. nnDash cams are also great for recording incidents in traffic, and can really make it easy to get an insurance company to cover any damages.

    • Mark Chatterley

      I want to get a dash cam for my LEAF. Was thinking of doing an installation video when I do.

      • Espen Hugaas Andersen

        That seems like a good idea. nnnnI’m sure it isn’t a straightforward operation for someone who hasn’t done it before and isn’t technologically adept. You need to find a place where you have access to the 12V directly from the lead-acid battery, so that the camera still has power when the car is switched off. Then it’s a question of routing the wires and making the install to look good. Seems like enough for a video to me.