TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Problem: You can only charge your car in a garage?!

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Fr23shjive, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Southern California
    Unless Im mistaken the cords that are required to charge the car cost over $1000.00. Personally Im not going to want to leave my car unattended while it charges if they're so expensive. So the only way to charge a vehicle is in a garage unless you're comfortable with leaving your $1k "charge cord" unattended.

    What are possible solutions to this? Is there going to be a lock produced so that theives arent able to just steal your cord?
     
  2. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Southern California
    I just thought about a technology that I've seen used on cell phones where you dont actually have to connect it but you simply place the cell phone on a "charging pad" and it charges without any cables.

    I wonder if that'll be a possibility for the future.
     
  3. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    299
    It does not look like it would be too hard to design a lock that would make it difficult to remove the charging cord from the car.

    When you plug into the car, you slide a tab toward the car leaving a depression. Someone should be able to design a piece to fit into the depression. The piece would be attached to a band-type lock to hold it locked in place. I hope someone manufactures these locks.
     
  4. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Southern California
    Even with a lock I would want the ability to leave my car overnight, or while shopping, attending a sporting event...etc without having to worry about some guy who wants to steal/tamper my power cord. If it werent so expensive it wouldnt even be an issue but because it costs $1k+ I wouldnt feel comfortable leaving it unattended.
     
  5. kgb

    kgb Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Why not have a key-code on the touch screen (like the valet mode code) in the car that releases a latch in the car's connector?
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Locking the cord to the wheel spokes is one way to not have it be stolen. Scott451 has a simple elegant solution that works as well.
     
  7. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Utah
    I'd be more worried about someone doing something physically to the car. If someone tries to tamper with a cord packing that much amperage they'll soon enough be in the running for a Darwin Award.

    This is a good idea. I know my Audi has a pin that locks the fuel door unless the car is unlocked; the Roadster (and/or Model S) could have something similar that locks the charger in place with a few pins after the car verifies it's safe to charge.
     
  8. scott451

    scott451 KWH-PWR#1349Sprt,S Sig#96

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    I was going to Pasadena and I would be charging in an open lot (100 W. walnut). I needed a way to secure the cable. 5 minutes with some scrap 4" HVAC duct work, tin snips and a hammer. It was sized for my MC240 charge cable but it also secures the 110V cable.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=1012&d=1285358486.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  9. jason.auch

    jason.auch Roadster Sport 2.5 #1071

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Very clever!

    I think I am going to build one too.

    You should probably patent it; this might be a million dollar idea in a world filled with electric cars.
     
  10. jaanton

    jaanton Roadster NA #1026

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    This could backfire. In Oakland, I can see someone jacking up the car at the wrong place and damaging it. After all that's the point of locking wheel bolts. If you have nice rims the bad guys will jack up your car unless you have locking bolts. Or since the're only interested in the metal value just chop the cable. Sure there is power in it, but that doesn't stop the metal theives in Oakland, the've been known to rip the wiring out of live street lights. I've noticed that with the Universal connector you can just slide back the switch on the connector and power will be cut. The 110v "spare" however is hot if plugged in regardless of the connector switch. I wonder if some attorney would sue you if someone trying to steal your cord gets electricuted? I remember someone setup electric traps on their roof and when burglers who tried to get in fried themselves the criminal's family won a suit against the home owner. At least that was a hidden trap, one might think a bright yellow power cable would be an obvious hazard. Sigh.
     
  11. scott451

    scott451 KWH-PWR#1349Sprt,S Sig#96

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    The old MC240 would cut power to the connector when you slid the switch back because it had a GFI relay. I don't think the UMC has a relay. I know the RFMC does not have one. So the line is still hot if you cut it... Bottom line, if they want it, they can unplug it and just cut the cable.
     
  12. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    It wouldn't work everywhere you might want to charge but: I live in an apartment building with underground parking and was worried about leaving my $1000+ cable there all of the time (people will steal anything and could easily sell it on the web).

    Luckily my outlet is close to my car and I was able to wrap my MC240 cable around a pillar and padlock the cable to itself. Nothing is going to work against all thieves, but I just wanted to make it not very, very easy. It's one option in some situations. I had to look around a little to find a lock with a wide enough and long enough shackle, but it wasn't too hard to find one.
     
  13. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Southern California
    This is exactly what Im talking about. I've had girlfriends who lived in apt complexes and I certainly wouldnt feel comfortable leaving around $1k worth of equipment lying around with out a lock of some sort.

    Im 99% sure thieves would catch on and there would be a black market for Tesla cords.

    This is the ONLY problem that I can really think of for Tesla.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,252
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    It exists, but adds costs and cuts into your charging efficiency.

    See this.
     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,917
    I think this issue is missing some basics of supply and demand.
    There are ~1500 Tesla Roadsters in the world, if you have one you already have the charging solutions you need.
    The number of people who need a new mobile charger at any time probably averages zero ( unless someone steals yours ).

    There isn't a lot of money in stealing something with so few customers. The only possible way for the thief to sell it would be online somehow, but it could take weeks and that would leave a trail.

    I think that it would be much more likely for someone to steal the charge cord just to be malicious.

    Of course when the cord is a J1772 connector and there are hundreds of thousands of EVs, the market completely changes.
     
  16. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #16 eledille, Sep 25, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
    They will steal just for the copper. We had an incident here in Oslo a few months back: They had closed one of the subway lines for upgrade. The work was delayed and over budget because thieves cut through the fences and stole the heavy copper cable. They must have had hydraulic cutters and trucks to be able to cut it and move it.

    I think this will be a big problem for charging stations that include a cable.
     
  17. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    7,054
    I think the solution can be very low tech even. Like the things mentioned, just simple locks. Anything that makes it less trival than just unplugging a plug is a good enough deterrent.

    However because of NEC 625, almost all 220V J1772 chargers will likely be hardwired, which should discourage stealing.

    That still leaves the 110V J1772 cables, but that's kind of like stealing an extension cord (I'm assuming the prices of those will be around that given mass production).
     
  18. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,629
    Location:
    Warren, New Jersey, United States
    I'd say that this whole issue will be a moot point if the Roadster gets a J1772 socket on the side; you'd be better off waiting for the car to leave then cut the cable as unplugging the cord will SMS the owner on a ChargePoint station attracting attention.
     
  19. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    950
    Location:
    Fredrikstad, Norway
    We had an incident in Lodalen, Oslo last year too, when someone broke into a parked train and stole the emergency saw. He then climbed onto the roof and tried to saw through the overhead wiring so he could steal the copper. Unfortunately for him the overhead wiring carries 16kV so he was quite successfull in electrocuting himself...
     
  20. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I was thinking of charging station availability. Perhaps video surveillance would be a sufficient deterrent, I don't know.

    jkirkebo: What a dazzlingly brilliant idea (for half a second anyway...). A strong Darwin Award contender!
     

Share This Page