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Personal safety while charging

As a woman, I have to consider my personal safety when traveling. If I am alone in an ICE vehicle and facing a threat, I can start the vehicle and drive away or use it as a weapon. If there were a threat while charging my Tesla at a Supercharger, it would be unsafe for me to get out of the Tesla to unplug, thereby trapping me inside the car without being able to drive away.

Has anyone else thought of this? Any solutions beyond knives and bear spray and 911? (please skip the gun debate here)

I would love to see Tesla come up with an "Emergency Charger Eject" feature.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
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Male or female, don't charge in places where you don't feel safe. I had one incident seven years ago (that had everything to do with what I was driving & nothing to do with my gender), but that's been it. I've had countless road trips, charged in the wild countless times -- and my personal safety just hasn't been a worry.

In no way am I saying that something can't happen - only that I don't think charging makes you more of a target than parking at the mall. If the spidey hairs are going off on the back of your neck, don't stop there.
 
Gas stations have a mechanism to quickly recover from a hose being yanked out and securing the line, however that is done due to a design flaw that ICE car's can get going independently of if they are charged not as a security mechanism for being in danger.

I think in the case you are feeling insecure and must charge in a potentially sketchy situation is to carry self defense such as the ones you mentioned.
 
It's not all about just stealing cars, but other possible crimes. I am a man but some of the superchargers I have stopped at late at night are completely empty and in the middle of nowhere and I admit I have had these thoughts too. I'm sitting in my car charging with the doors locked, but if anything shady happens I have no ability to drive away. It is a valid concern IMO.
 
As a woman, I have to consider my personal safety when traveling. If I am alone in an ICE vehicle and facing a threat, I can start the vehicle and drive away or use it as a weapon. If there were a threat while charging my Tesla at a Supercharger, it would be unsafe for me to get out of the Tesla to unplug, thereby trapping me inside the car without being able to drive away.

Has anyone else thought of this? Any solutions beyond knives and bear spray and 911? (please skip the gun debate here)

I would love to see Tesla come up with an "Emergency Charger Eject" feature.
Totally agree and I think it is a valid concern.

Filling at a gas station has the same concern, except thats usually for a few minutes where charging could go on much longer. A quick eject feature would be nice. Eventually, with completely self driving cars, all superchargers will be able to plug/unplug a car unattended. When that is reality, you can simply stop the charge session and drive off without leaving the car.
 
In no way am I saying that something can't happen - only that I don't think charging makes you more of a target than parking at the mall. If the spidey hairs are going off on the back of your neck, don't stop there.

It's the being tethered that is the difference between charging and mall parking. I'm glad to hear that other women travel far and wide as I do, and thankfully, I've never had a real threat, but I try to be mindful and aware of my options and limitations.
 
Not sure many criminals would know that your are "anchored" by the charger cord. More criminals seem aware from recent headlines that all Tesla have "Lojack" and are bad theft targets.
OH but criminals DO know you'll have to get out of the car and yes, I think you are a bigger target than just sitting at the mall because as OP mentions, you can't just drive away if someone approaches you. Although the criminals may know they can't get very far with the car, they can simply hold you up or force you to drive somewhere. After all, you have a very expensive car, so in their eyes, you have money.
 
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bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
9,935
Columbia River Gorge
It's not all about just stealing cars, but other possible crimes. I am a man but some of the superchargers I have stopped at late at night are completely empty and in the middle of nowhere and I admit I have had these thoughts too. I'm sitting in my car charging with the doors locked, but if anything shady happens I have no ability to drive away. It is a valid concern IMO.

More than once in my life I've been nervous about being a sitting target. The first time was many many years ago when my car (an ICE) broke down and I was in a very remote area - first help that came along might be the only help, and no way to know if they'd be *helpful* or not.

So that time (and other situations after where I've felt unsafe), I grabbed a blanket and headed out onto the desert, sitting in the dark a safe distance from my car. That gave me time to evaluate who pulled up to help.

I'd do the same at a charging location if I felt it was sketchy. I'd either go to a nearby business that was open, or I'd observe my car from a distance while it charged. I wouldn't sit there inside it. And I'd only get enough charge to get to a better location.
 
More than once in my life I've been nervous about being a sitting target. The first time was many many years ago when my car broke down and I was in a very remote area - first help that came along might be the only help, and no way to know if they'd be *helpful* or not.

So that time (and other situations after where I've felt unsafe), I grabbed a blanket and headed out onto the desert, sitting in the dark a safe distance from my car. That gave me time to evaluate who pulled up to help.

I'd do the same at a charging location if I felt it was sketchy. I'd either go to a nearby business that was open, or I'd observe my car from a distance while it charged. I wouldn't sit there inside it. And I'd only get enough charge to get to a better location.
That's an interesting option, although not for my recent trip to MN in January with freezing temps. Surprisingly, the gas station in NE at the Supercharger closes overnight. I greatly appreciate the well lit Superchargers, and use tinted windows and sunshades while sleeping in the back.
 
I'd do the same at a charging location if I felt it was sketchy. I'd either go to a nearby business that was open, or I'd observe my car from a distance while it charged. I wouldn't sit there inside it. And I'd only get enough charge to get to a better location.

Sounds like a good plan, but for me, I'll just wait for you to come back to the car to rob you. Watch out for my car :eek:
 
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bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
9,935
Columbia River Gorge
Sounds like a good plan, but for me, I'll just wait for you to come back to the car to rob you. Watch out for my car :eek:
Hah. If a car pulls up & that person in that car is overly interested in my vehicle I'm 1) not coming over, 2) would walk further away, and 3) calling 911. I lived for years in Death Valley & the reality is there are a lot of borderline folks out there (a couple former Manson family members lived next door, for instance). Staying aware of personal safety was paramount.

I have a few stories involving things like a security guard putting water in my gas tank so that I was stranded late at night on a desert road (guess who showed up to rescue! - too bad, I'd already gotten far away from my car), but bottom line for me was always removing myself from an unsafe situation - even if it meant sitting 20 yards away in the dark. As my dad used to tell me, "Don't be scared of the dark. Bad people can't see you, either."

Of course we can all come up with outlier situations. But I've been driving electric 7+ years, stopping to charge in the wild more than most & there isn't an epidemic of people hanging out at chargers to rob owners. Could we find a story about it? Probably. And we could find stories about all sorts of other places where someone was attacked or robbed. (I seem to recall a gas station or two being robbed ...) Common sense should prevail about where you stop.
 
Has anyone thought whether checking in on charging stations on PlugShare can give someone your intended path? I don't know what the tracking possibilities are for those with IT knowledge and bad intentions. I've limited myself to one check in per trip, no matter how many charging stops I use along the way. I find the information that others have given to be very useful.
 

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
9,935
Columbia River Gorge
Has anyone thought whether checking in on charging stations on PlugShare can give someone your intended path? I don't know what the tracking possibilities are for those with IT knowledge and bad intentions. I've limited myself to one check in per trip, no matter how many charging stops I use along the way. I find the information that others have given to be very useful.
That's stalker-level! I suppose someone could project where you're going to be if 'user checkin' were a searchable field, but I don't think it is. You could always check into the various sites at the end of your trip and leave helpful information for others.

On another note, I notice you're in Longmont. (I was a long-time Boulder resident.) It was a sad day when Shorty's closed. I have lots of good friends still in Longmont, Niwot, Berthoud, & Boulder. You're in a beautiful area of the world.
 
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That's stalker-level! I suppose someone could project where you're going to be if 'user checkin' were a searchable field, but I don't think it is. You could always check into the various sites at the end of your trip and leave helpful information for others.

On another note, I notice you're in Longmont. (I was a long-time Boulder resident.) It was a sad day when Shorty's closed. I have lots of good friends still in Longmont, Niwot, Berthoud, & Boulder. You're in a beautiful area of the world.
I know, they used to be called secret admirers, and now we call them stalkers. :)
Yes, it is beautiful here just below RMNP. We have Georgia Boys BBQ now. Best ever! Check in with me when you get back this way, okay?
 
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