EV owners urged to protect charger cables as thieves look to make easy money

By Matt Allan
Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:10 pm

Electric vehicle owners are being urged to look after their charging cables amids fears that the valuable connectors could be targeted by thieves.

The cables used for charging the latest range of EVs are packed with potentially valuable metal and thanks to their visibility and relative small size they are an attractive target for scrap metal thieves.

Not only is losing one to thieves an inconvenience but it’s expensive too, with replacements costing between £130 and £200.

Metal theft is nothing new - from copper cable in phone lines to lead from church roofs, thieves have always sought out easy pickings to sell on to dodgy scrap yards. Now one legitimate waste disposal company is warning that less scrupulous operators could be paying up to £200 a time for stolen EV cables.

Mark Hall, spokesman for Divert.co.uk said that the cables offer easy money for organised thieves. “With more people going green and choosing electric cars over petrol and diesel, there are more charging cables available for thieves to target,” he commented. “Car chargers are particularly appealing to thieves because they can be sold for up to £200 and they are selling them everywhere - via online marketplaces and to dodgy scrap dealers. They can be pretty costly and inconvenient for you to replace, so it’s best to keep it locked away from the crooks.”

While most chargers and vehicles feature a locking mechanism that stops cables being unplugged mid-charge, Hall warned that cables left outside when they are not in use could be an easy target, particularly untethered ones which can be swiftly disconnected from chargers.

To help protect against opportunistic thieves, Hall suggests finding a way to secure the cable to your vehicle, even when it’s locked during charging.

He also suggests that if you can park your car under cover when charging you should. If you don’t have the option to charge inside, it’s best to park with the car’s charging port nearest to your house, to keep the cable out of the sight of potential thieves passing by.