Flashy new electric cars bring with them a whole new way of fueling the car. To be able to drive your new electric vehicle you will need to have a way to charge, while of course a power source and cables to connect the source to your car. With the newness of charging you might be asking yourself, how secure are these electric chargers?
Well, are home EV chargers secure? At the moment there are many home electric vehicle chargers that exhibit many security flaws, both cyber and physical. Even with these security flaws, the likelihood of electricity theft and cybercrimes is relatively low. There are, however, home electric chargers that are more secure and offer almost no security threat.
With the popularity of electric vehicles on the rise, many consumers are looking to buy home EV charging systems as well. There are those who ask though are these home EV chargers safe to use? They present no threat to your car and will get the charging of your vehicles done. But when I say safe, having security from stopping thieves stealing electricity or even the chagrin cables are the main questions. We have to remember that it can take hours for an electric vehicle to charge so this gives a lot of time for your charger and vehicle to be left vulnerable.
How Electric Vehicle Chargers Are Set-Up?
The way electric vehicle chargers are set up is relatively simple. You have a central box where the electronics and computer of the electric charger are stored. There is also a way that the charger is connected to a power source. If it is at your house, it will most likely be connected to your breaker box or an outlet. You then have a plug that is built into the charger or an outlet for you to connect a charging cable.
As you can see, it is a fairly simple set-up for electric vehicle chargers. If you are trying to install an at-home electric vehicle charger, aside from the cost of the charger itself, it can be installed by an electrician for only a few hundred dollars. There are car chargers that have apps that will allow your electric vehicle charger to be connected to your home’s Wifi.
Can The Cables Be Stolen When You Charge?
For the most part, cables that are used to charge your electric vehicles can be stolen. This is something that you need to be careful of when using public charging stations because there isn’t much that will stop someone from just pulling out the cord from your car. Yes, a lot of charging cables for electric vehicles have locking mechanisms that are meant to help protect your charging cables from being stolen while you are away. But they are not always theft-proof.
There have been many reports of stolen electric vehicle charging cables, especially in places like the UK where electric vehicles are more popular than in the US. There are reports of even charging cables being stolen from electric cars like Tesla. Even though they have one of the best security systems. Each charging cable is priced at upwards of $200 so it can be a quick and profitable turnaround for a thief who might steal one.
These thefts usually happen at public charging stations, which can make easy targets for thieves if there aren’t lots of people around. The thieves of charging cables will then take the cables and sell them as used on either eBay or Facebook where people will be searching for a way to spend less than the few hundred dollars charging cables usually cost.
I am not saying all of these things to try to scare you or make you worried. I will be talking about the many ways you can protect your charging cables a little later in the article. As I mentioned earlier, most electric vehicle manufacturers have installed locks in the cables that engage when you are away from your car. But thefts continue to happen from cars that even have these extra security measures. Car manufacturers are continuing to search for new ways to protect these charging cables.
Why Are Chargers Stolen And Not The Electric Cars?
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “If the thieves go about the trouble to steal the charger, why don’t they just steal the entire car?” As you can probably guess, electric cars are much harder to get into when locked up than just getting the simple charging cables. Of course, you have the car door locks and alarm that sounds if you open up a door when the car is locked but there is even more security than that.
Some electric cars have as much technology included in their security as advanced as the technology when you drive the car. Companies like Tesla have even made the possibility in their cars to set a PIN that you have to enter before you can actually drive. Electric cars could be said to be more difficult to break into than conventional gas-fueled cars. The charging cables on the other hand are much more accessible to those willing to steal.
Maybe you are wondering why public chargers don’t have charging cables attached to them. Wouldn’t that make them more difficult to steal? I asked myself the same question. Well, it turns out that a lot of the electric cars on the market have differently shaped plug-ins, therefore there is the need for each car to have its own cable because the charging station can not accommodate every charger shape. There are, however, still charging stations that have attached cables with the most common heads.
There are potential dangers with home chargers that you should be aware of. As we know, a lot of home chargers are attached through your wifi. Various security companies have conducted tests and have actually found that it is possible to hack into your home’s wifi and personal info through your electric car charger. To protect your personal info, you might need to add some extra precautions for your safety.
Different Ways To Protect Your Charger
Don’t work yourself into a panic about these various dangers. There are many things you can do to protect your home charger and your charging cables. Electric car manufacturers and other companies have admitted that the security has some faults and are working hard to create more concrete ways to protect your chargers and cables.
First off, something you can do to avoid having your charging cables stolen is don’t use public charging stations! Stick to home! It is much more secure if you create a closed system where you can safely charge your electric car in your garage, this significantly decreases the chance of thieves causing problems.
Now, you might be faced with situations where you will be forced to use a public charging station and therefore put your charging cables at risk. But, you aren’t left completely vulnerable! There are many options to help you out. One of the surest things you can do is to use padlocks to secure your charging cables to the car or the charging station. It seems a little old school, but it works. Some cars, like the Nissan leaf, actually have a little loop right above the charging port where you can attach a padlock.
Another thing you can utilize are dash cams! Yes, this doesn’t completely stop people but this will make thieves hesitant to touch anything. A lot of dash cams can turn off when you turn off your car, but there are certain dash cams that have “parking modes” where a motion sensor will activate the dashcam.
If things get really desperate and you are nervous that there is a potential your chagrin cables will get stolen, you can actually park on your cable. Make sure you leave plenty of slack before moving your car onto the cable so you don’t damage your charging port or the charging station. This is a solution I wouldn’t highly recommend though because if you do this too much it can actually cause damage to your cable.
Now to add a little something about security for your home charging station. First of all, update your home charging station to the most current software! A lot of companies have found flaws in their systems and have updated the systems to be more secure. They upgrade the security in almost every upgrade, so make sure to stay up to date. To add to that, putting the charging station in your garage will be good protection.