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Thought it would never happen to me, at least I was partly prepared


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27 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Taz

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 12:18 PM

Definitely some lowlife people out there. I stopped at a hotel overnight while driving from SoCal to NorCal since I left work late on Friday. I looked all around the hotel and finally found a place I could plug in but it was a bit far away. I hadn’t bought a 100’ extension cord yet but I had a 25 & 50' with me.  Even together they were quite long enough. So against my instincts, I thought I would leave the charger outside of the car and plugged in just to the car and the extension cable. Of course you can all see where this is heading…

 

So did I. After reading about someone stealing Raja’s charger I’ve been very cautious. I looked and there was still just enough slack to run the charger cord around the steering column and back out to the charging port. I went to bed and woke up 6 hours later and there was no fully charged notice. I looked at MFM and it only showed the charge at 33% and that JazzE was waiting to charge. How the heck could that happen unless… So I looked out the window and saw both of my extension cords were gone. I was PO’d to say the least. On the plus side, they didn’t get the charger though it was obvious they tried. So good thing I paid attention to Raja’s issue before.

 

I went to the hotel desk to see if they had any video of one of their groundskeepers might have removed it since it was a “hazard”. I had that happen once before.  No luck with that and the security cameras didn’t cover the area where I was parked but I had the time down to a few minutes based on the rate of charge and when it was kicked off. There were only 2 vehicles passing into and out of that area. They might possibly have license plate numbers but no proof otherwise.

 

On the plus side, I want to Harbor Freight and they had their extension cords on sale. So I was able to pick up a 50 and 100’ for less than I paid for my last 50’ alone. A little more weight to carry but why put a 100’ cord at risk when a 50’ will work. It will take quite a few chargers (one month) to offset the cost of the cords. I did figure out a creative way now to lock the cords together. Now I just have to figure out how to possibly secure them at an electrical outlet. Depending on the style, such as ones with conduit, I could run a small stainless cable around the conduit and lock it to the cord. As it is now, I am using a padlock to lock the cable to another one or to the EVSE plug itself. Works pretty slick. They can still steal it but they’ll have to cut the cable and the  will stop the more “honest” people. Then again, maybe some idiot would try and cut the cord while it is live.

 

I’ll post picks later if anyone wants to see how I locked the 2 cords together with just a padlock. Thanks for everyone sharing their experiences about these types of things and especially Raja's. It saved me from losing my charger.


Edited by Taz, 17 August 2015 - 12:19 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 12:39 PM

Unfortunately there are a few bad apples out there. I was cringing when I was reading your post. I'm glad you decided to run the cord through the steering wheel and back out. I don't like doing that as it's not the safest option but a couple of times I had to because I didn't have my long extension cord with me like last night at pizza Uno. With the charger outside someone can just cut the cord going into the car and splice it back together with the handle and have a working charger with a little bit of a shorter cable. I prefer to leave the extension cord outside and the charger inside the car. That seems to work best.

Glad my story in the past saved you from having your charger making it's way to eBay.

-=>Raja.

Edited by rbort, 17 August 2015 - 12:40 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   Taz

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 12:45 PM

I normally keep the charger INSIDE the car, this is one of the times that wasn't an option. It's permanent place is typically on the back floor behind my seat. I thought about the lock on the handle itself as mentioned as well but no time to do that yet. I did scribe identifying info on the charger handle itself and other places.



#4 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:15 PM

So a full e-charge on the road saves the cost of about 1/2 gallon of gas, roughly $2.  Not worth it to me for the hassle and grief of parking where the plug is and securing the cables, charger and locking up.  The risk of losing the ~$600 charger, extension cord or some dumb-a$$ just deciding he/she doesn't like plug in cars and keying me isn't worth it.  When I first got the car I did two road trips from San Diego to Monterrey and San Diego to Brian Spring UT.  Had several opportunities from friendly hotel desks to plug in, but wasn't worth the hassle and risk.  To Me.  YMMV.


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#5 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:18 PM

I don't bother with locking the handle of the charger.  A thief if going to break it trying to steal it.  Furthermore, they might damage the car socket.  If they are intent on unplugging it, I'd rather them not damage the car in the process.  However, with the charger inside, there is little benefit to unplug it so in most cases they won't even bother anyways.

 

It should be noted that locking the handle alone is not a good method of securing the charger, so don't do that people and leave the charger outside, not a good idea in my opinion.

 

edit:  Dontfret...to each his own.  I love being able to maximize my mileage by charging at hotels or other places.  My last trip to Indiana for 9 days I was able to recharge every night with my 120v charger and never used any gas the whole time there.  I don't mind taking the time to lock up my charger and run the cords, its just part of the SOP for me with this car.  Some people never bother to plug in, some guy here bought a used Cmax that was hardly charged in 70k miles...!

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 17 August 2015 - 01:21 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Taz

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:45 PM

My situation is sort of a challenge anyway. I am pretty much living out of hotels while I am working in SoCal. So I don't really have much choice but to use hotels a lot to charge anyway. 

 

In addition the gridlock here is so terrible at times, I can save a lot more than I thought I would. This weekend I was stuck in traffic that was so bad that even in hybrid mode (main pack was empty) I used a gallon of gas to go 17 miles and run the AC. it was a brutally hot weekend for LA. The outside temps were about 104 or so and very high humidity. 

 

Anyway I still want to help reduce smog and haze here by using the EV as much a possible. I find I am a lot more relaxed when driving in EV mode than ICE as well. My wife calls it my "Zenlike State".



#7 OFFLINE   mdntblu

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 06:40 PM

Ayres Hotels seem to have Level 2 charging stations. I've noticed on my Plugshare app that a bunch of them in SoCal do. You should check into that.



#8 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:53 PM

Park a tire on the charger cord.



#9 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:54 PM

Coil you extension cord under the hood.


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#10 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:55 PM

Hide everything as much as possible. Leaving the cord hang out the window is asking for

unwanted attention. TURN OFF the charging lamp ring.


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#11 OFFLINE   Taz

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 10:11 AM

I turned off the charging ring a long time ago. I normally put a tire on the cord as well but this time I had no way of doing it. It was too long of a a reach. I am in the process of painting my handle totally black as well so it less obvious.



#12 OFFLINE   openair

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 01:13 PM

Leaving the cord hang out the window is asking for
unwanted attention.

Nice victim blaming. Do you also say stuff like "It's your own fault for dressing like that"?

Edited by openair, 19 August 2015 - 01:15 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   jeromep

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 03:21 PM

I think that all of us here would like a world where we could leave our doors unlocked, leave our clothing out on the line to dry overnight, be able to hang our charging hardware out someplace and folks would leave all of it alone.  However, there are folks that don't have a lot of common sense and feel that it isn't a problem to steal your stuff, vandalize your clothes or charging equipment.

 

I think that drdiesel1's suggestions are reasonable.  I wouldn't be comfortable looping my power cable around the steering collumn and then having the wire go out a cracked window.  That would give one of these theeving idiots the ability to both steal something and break a window.

 

I have charged once in a public place with the Ford L1 charger, and the whole time I was away from the car I was concerned that somebody was going to mess with my charging setup.  In general, I won't charge when away from home unless a public L2 charger provided by the location I'm at is available.  Sure, some bozo could come buy and unplug me while in the middle of a charge; and unless they ream on the charging connector, they probably won't do any damage to the vehicle.  But so far, the L2 charging stations I've found and used have been in very public areas; entrances to buildings, near reception areas, in valet parking sections of public parking garages, etc. and I haven't had any bad experiences.  Sure, in about 80% of these locations you have to pay, but the parking is prime, generally not filled to capacity and the charge is fast enough to leave me fully charged prior to my departure.

 

I'm continually amazed that hotels aren't installing more L2 charging stations.  It seems like a very logical, and low cost, perk to offer to guests.



#14 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:11 PM

Yeah hotels would be wise to step up and offer a bank of 2 to maybe 6 L2 chargers. Such great marketing, for such minimal cost. Even if they don't charge for the electrons. Way more cost effective than any form of "interruption advertising," especially as the number of EV drivers grows.


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#15 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 06:49 PM

Those L2 chargers are more expensive than you think.  I think chargepoint gets on the order of several thousand dollars to install a charger, it might even be in the double digits.  Hotels don't need to spend that kind of money, otherwise they will raise all the room rates to make up for it.  A simple 120v plug works well and allows customers to charge overnight for a full charge every morning.

 

I don't run cords through windows, I just close the door on the wires, the extension coming into the car and the charger cord going out to the car's chargeport.  No need to loop any wires through the steering wheel in this case.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 19 August 2015 - 06:49 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   P=E/t

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 07:19 PM

A typical video promo costs $10,000 a minute to produce. A TV commercial, many many times that sum. Can pass a million easy.
The cost of a magazine ad varies tremendously but can easily reach $250,000 for a full page ad in a magazine with wide circulation.
(All of which no one really pays attention to anymore.)

$1,000 or maybe $2k for an L2 charger for a hotel? For a service that speaks to the fundamentals of Permission Marketing?
http://sethgodin.typ...ssion-mark.html

That's a bargain in my book. A huge one.

Rick

Edited by P=E/t, 19 August 2015 - 07:24 PM.

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#17 OFFLINE   drdiesel1

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 07:45 PM

Nice victim blaming. Do you also say stuff like "It's your own fault for dressing like that"?

Yes, I do........ Do you always post like that :hysterical:  It wasn't blaming. IT WAS A TIP.

If you're going to read into my post, please STFU!   The poster doesn't need you to

run to his defense and I don't need to hear your ignorance......Thanks.


Edited by drdiesel1, 19 August 2015 - 07:48 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   openair

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 08:25 AM

Yes, I do........ Do you always post like that :hysterical: It wasn't blaming. IT WAS A TIP.
If you're going to read into my post, please STFU! The poster doesn't need you to
run to his defense and I don't need to hear your ignorance......Thanks.


A tip that it was his fault that he drew attention to himself. There is no reading into it. That is what you said. I guess you're full of your own ignorance you cannot help but project in onto others.

#19 OFFLINE   jeromep

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

A typical video promo costs $10,000 a minute to produce. A TV commercial, many many times that sum. Can pass a million easy.
The cost of a magazine ad varies tremendously but can easily reach $250,000 for a full page ad in a magazine with wide circulation.
(All of which no one really pays attention to anymore.)

$1,000 or maybe $2k for an L2 charger for a hotel? For a service that speaks to the fundamentals of Permission Marketing?
http://sethgodin.typ...ssion-mark.html

That's a bargain in my book. A huge one.

Rick

 

Neat link.

 

I'm not sure if this applies, but I've been following a company called Volta Charging which is using an ad based model to compensate for the cost of installing and operating L2 charging stations at public locations.

 

http://voltacharging.com/

 

So far they only operate in So. California, Arizona and Hawaii, but seem to be expanding.

 

The model is simple.  Advertisers pay to sponsor charging stations in public locations, typically high traffic areas like shopping centers, and the EV driver just drives up and plugs in and that is that.  I think it is a great idea.  Is it sustainable, well I don't have a clue.  However, marketing dollars are much less concentrated in broadcast media these days, mostly because broadcast media doesn't have the market penetration it once had, so companies are looking for other avenues to try to promote themselves.  Sponsoring charging stations is one way of reaching out to a broader base of potential customers and can give companies "green" credibility through offering free vehicle charging.

 

If you have a cost sensitive retail location, hotel or multi-use facility, (and who isn't cost sensitive) this is a good way to go with no out-of-pocket expense or administration for the hosting location.  If Volta was operating in my locality, I'd be working with my company to install a couple of their stations on our property.



#20 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

I turned off the charging ring a long time ago. I normally put a tire on the cord as well but this time I had no way of doing it. It was too long of a a reach. I am in the process of painting my handle totally black as well so it less obvious.

I set my charging ring to cycle once and then turn off, rather than turn off completely.










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