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security for public charging?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by mattjs33, May 9, 2011.

  1. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Everyone here is anxiously awaiting more public charging points as electric cars become more and more mainstream. It's probably the biggest factor facing the practicality of electric cars, in terms of the way people are used to using cars. Amid all the discussion of charging standards and Level 2/Level 3 type talk, one thing keeps popping into my brain; what type of security controls are being implemented for public charging?

    For example, I drive my electric car downtown to do some shopping, which happens to be on the upper limits of its practical range. I hook into a public charger (which most likely very soon won't be free), and leave, confident that my car will receive sufficient charge to get me home. Except upon my return, I notice that a prankster has unhooked the charging cable from my car! So now I do not have enough charge to get home, without hooking back up and waiting even longer!

    Seem far-fetched? Think about it; in this day and age when people with nothing better to do will create computer viruses to mess with the computers of people they don't even know, is it really that hard to envision such a scenario? There are people out there who will get their jollies out of messing with somebody with this type of shenanigans.

    What is the industry's plan for dealing with this?
     
  2. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    most new cars will text/email your cell when the charging stops... this is already a standard feature of the Nissan Leaf.

    I suspect the solution in 'high risk' areas is to use wireless charging.
     
  3. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Kind of a neat feature, but the horse is already out of the barn, you know? If I'm not near the car, in a movie theater, etc. it won't do me any good.

    Surely it'd be possible to engineer the cover for the charging port in a way where it clips onto the charge plug, and would then be lockable with the vehicle key. An ounce of prevention...
     
  4. kgb

    kgb Member

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    There's an opportunity for a third party developer of an accessory.
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    The Mennekes connector already has a provision for locking the cable in place. (Why aren't we using it over here again??)

    attachment.php?attachmentid=1783&d=1304981924.jpg

    http://elbil.pbworks.com/f/MENNEKES%2Band%2BEV.pdf


    Mennekes lock.JPG
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    ChargePoint pedestals can lock the connector to the EVSE (until you swipe your card and get authorized.)
    I noticed that the Vacaville CHAdeMO is locked too - you can't pull the plug out of the holder while it is disabled right now.
    But that is on the equipment side. Are there any applications where a vehicle will lock the plug to the car?
     
  7. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    With the Coulomb ChargePoint pedestals, I assume you're talking about the locking door that prevents access to the socket (or the plug in the socket, if in use). As shown above, Mennekes has an automatic locking provision designed into the actual connector which works on the car side as well, though I'm not sure if anyone has actually implemented it yet (Renault?). The locking mechanism is an electro-mechanical pin inside the inlet.

    Does the Yazaki J1772 connector have a locking scheme in its design? There is that thumb latch.
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    No, not the NEMA in the door. The J1772 on the side can be locked so you can't pull the handle out. I don't know if they used a standard feature, or implemented some sort of 3rd party pin that grabs the edge.
     
  9. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Put a camera in the stations, email a photo on premature unplugs (or heck, do some sort of capacitive sensing on the cable/plug itself? take a movie?), make it obvious on the station that is what will happen. I don't know that I want the car to lock the plug in place - I'd rather not have damage to the car from some determined idiot.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    charger takes a picture at every plug in and unplug

    would also get copper thieves
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #11 TEG, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
    I checked one out tonight. The thumb latch slides into a little channel (top of the pic) and when locked a piece of metal slides forward so that the thumb latch will not raise. Once I swipe my card the metal slides back inside (with an audible thunk) and only then can I push down on the release button. I am guessing this wasn't part of the J1772 design, but rather something ChargePoint improvised to make it lock.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=1786&d=1305002230.jpg
     

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  12. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Having some form of lock on the car side may be the reason behind the rumour that Tesla may be continuing to use their proprietory plug/ socket on Model S (not that the Roadster features such a car-side locking system already).
     
  13. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    Here we are again, IEC62192-2-2 (Type 2) (Mennekes) vs J1772, but the Type 2 connector actually has a locking mechanism build in the connector itself.

    So in the EU, that would be sufficient.
     
  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    This doesn't make much sense. I doubt many public chargers will bother using a Tesla proprietary plug.
     
  15. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Public Charging Security

    Following on from one owner's experience/near miss, I thought I'd start this.

    To what extent does public charging make EVs an easier target for vandalism/theft than - say - equally expensive ICEs parked nearby? (Okay, it's an imaginary neighborhood)

    Is it just novelty that attracts criminals - something new to try that they can share/discuss/blog??? with their chums?

    Is there anything that can be done to act as a deterent and minimise the risk?

    Charger locations? Street Lighting? Locks? Cameras? Alarms? Communication?

    What should/could also happen when the car texts you to say it's been disconnected?

    AND what should the owner do when the car texts to say it's been disconnected?
     
  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I checked out a J1772 connector last week. It should be relatively easy enough to implement a locking mechanism on the car inlet in the way you described, so it's something car manufacturers might pursue if customers want it.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Charger locations - obviously in high traffic area, in sight of public spaces. Not necessarily in prime parking locations, though, as that will encourage ICE drivers to occupy the slots.

    Lighting - Despite everyone's instinctive feeling that light improves security, real-world experience doesn't quite match up. Criminals need light too. Sometimes turning out the lights is a far better solution. Also does nothing to stop daytime activity.

    Locks - sure, within reason. Won't stop cable cutters or a determined thief and may result in car damage.

    Alarms - absolutely!!! This is the most important. Unexpected interruption in charging should set off the car alarm (with user disable option). That would deter a lot of people.

    Communications - yeah, a text message to indicate a problem is useful for more than just crime. I think this is essential.

    What to do - owner should observe car discretely. If its just kids chase them away. If unsavory people are accosting keep your distance and call 911. Maybe discretely take some photos - car license plates, etc.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I was "making the rounds" in the Leaf checking out public charge locations in my area.
    I stopped here:
    ChargePoint Network-Locations
    It was night. Dark. No one around. As soon as I opened my door a flash camera high on a telephone pole behind me started taking my picture.
    As I moved around it took more pictures. Must be on a motion sensor. I don't know where the photos went or who might be reviewing them.
    I suspect that is a rather effective deterrent that keeps people from vandalizing the charge station or messing with any of the EVs parked there, at least at night.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    That's really cool! I too wonder where the pictures "come out".

    Would be funny if it was just a flash...
     
  20. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    It could be. Sometimes just the perception of something being done is enough to stop somebody from doing something, i.e., dummy surveillance cameras.

    -Shark2k
     

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