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Clean Transport Kaveh Kamooney

Published on December 6th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Electric Car Owner Steals 4 Cents Worth Of Electricity & Is Jailed For 15 Hours, But That’s Not The Full Story

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December 6th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
Update January 2: Counter to what was presented by the police, Kaveh Kamooneh says that he was never previously told to stay off of the school tennis courts. It seems absurd that they would fabricate that history, but we have certainly seen more absurd things in this world. If Kamooneh is telling the truth and the police fabricated that history, then point #3 below is obviously irrelevant/wrong. It also seems that the police claim that Kamooneh was argumentative is completely up in the air, as Kamooneh denies the charge. Without any witness or recording, we cannot know for sure. Therefore, in this article below, perhaps #2 is also irrelevant, but I think it’s still a point or piece of advice well worth repeating. I have seen many people respond aggressively to police for no legitimate reason (and vice versa) — my point that we should be civil, especially when a police officer thinks we have done something wrong, seems like common sense, but it isn’t for some people. (Again, I have no idea how Kamooneh discussed the matter with the police officer — I only have two contradictory accounts from the two parties.)

But the key, take-home point from this story, imho, is still #1: most people don’t realize how much electricity an EV pulls when charging from a normal power outlet. I doubt most people even know that you can charge from a normal power outlet. We need much greater awareness about this. I think this story — which went viral on mainstream media — actually helped a great deal with that education. While I don’t think it was right — not in the least — that Kamooneh was put in jail for what isn’t even clearly a crime (I don’t think it is), his undesired sacrifice may have done a great deal to advance the EV revolution. Let’s hope so. However, one more time, if you’re an EV driver who wants to avoid such a sacrifice, the 3 points at the bottom of this article should help you to avoid that. ;)

 

You may have seen the initial news reports by now — a Georgia man reportedly plugged his electric car (Nissan Leaf) into an outlet at a local school for about 20 minutes — long enough to acquire about 4 cents worth of electricity according to a Georgia Power spokesman — and ended up being arrested & jailed for 15 hours because of it.

Initially, I decided to pass on covering the story, as I didn’t see how it would help anyone for me to cover it, but with a little nudging from a reader and some new information, I figured it was worth a quick write-up.

First of all, the rationale from the police officer for why the man was arrested and jailed was essentially that “stealing is stealing, and it’s against the law.” Something to consider before plugging in away from home. Of course, simply asking first if you can plug in can easily solve that problem, but if it’s say, Saturday, and no one is at the school where you are parked and want to plug in, does that mean you can’t use a few cents of electricity?

I think most humans, including police officers, would say that’s no problem — no one is going to arrest you for plugging your phone charger in somewhere like that. However, there are three important things to keep in mind:

  1. Most people simply don’t realize how cheap it is to charge an electric car from a normal outlet. The police officers, apparently making a wild guess, claimed that this Georgia man, Kaveh Kamooneh, stole $10 to $25 worth of electricity. As noted above, the total actually came to about 4 cents. But the important point in this case was that the police officers and representatives of the school didn’t seem to know this (or believe Kamooneh) before the expert opinion came in.
  2. Don’t give cops trouble. Kamooneh reportedly didn’t deal in a friendly way with the policeman who came to his car, and even tried to claim that the policeman damaged his car door. From the police statement: “The officer’s initial incident report gives a good indication of how difficult and argumentative the individual was to deal with. He made no attempt to apologize or simply say oops and he wouldn’t do it again. Instead he continued being argumentative, acknowledged he did not have permission and then accused the officer of having damaged his car door. The officer told him that was not true and that the vehicle and existing damage was already on his vehicles video camera from when he drove up.” [sic]
  3. Don’t take electricity from a property you’re not even supposed to be on. Rather importantly, Kamooneh was supposedly already told to stay off of the school’s property. “The report made its way to Sgt Ford’s desk for a follow up investigation. He contacted the middle school and inquired of several administrative personnel whether the individual had permission to use power. He was advised no. Sgt. Ford showed a photo to the school resource officer who recognized Mr. Kamooneh. Sgt Ford was further advised that Mr. Kamooneh had previously been advised he was not allowed on the school tennis courts without permission from the school. This was apparently due to his interfering with the use of the tennis courts previously during school hours.”

So, yes, one lesson is certainly to ask before charging your car from an outlet that isn’t yours, but other more important lessons are probably to stay off of property you’ve been told to stay off of, and to not give cops trouble when they approach you about something.

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • EV

    Wow! I wonder how the author knows about his points 2 & 3. The only source for that is the officer on the scene, the same one who was in the car, that is to say the one who had illegally entered into the car. That he did that is in his own report. He says he was looking for the owner, who he also claims was was on the tennis courts next to the parking lot and I guess he couldn’t find the owner’s name for the license plate. Zachary, do you always use only one source for things you report, even when that source ha made contradictory claims? Good job man.

  • J_JamesM

    I don’t feel sorry for this guy at all. How would you feel if some strange guy rolled up to your house, dragged a cord out over your lawn, and started leeching from your outdoor electrical outlet? You’d want him to get the F off your property immediately! That also applies to schools and private businesses too.

    • A Real Libertarian

      “How would you feel if some strange guy rolled up to your house, dragged a
      cord out over your lawn, and started leeching from your outdoor
      electrical outlet?”

      I’d feel damned ashamed I can’t understand the definition of “Landlord”.

      • J_JamesM

        That doesn’t make any sense.

        • A Real Libertarian

          Neither does your analogy.

          • J_JamesM

            It makes perfect sense to me. He breached common etiquette. If he needed a charge, he should have asked them. Instead, he chose to steal electricity from them. The amount doesn’t matter- it’s the principle of the thing.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “he chose to steal electricity from them”

            You mean like everyone who plugged in something that they owned?

            He’s a taxpayer, he was picking up his kid.

            If you want to make an analogy here’s a good one:

            Taxpayer = Investor.

            School = Business.

            Picking up his kid = Attending a meeting.

            If an investor with an electric car was attending a meeting at a business he gave money to, and he plugged in the car while there, and they called the cops to arrest him, would you support that?

          • Bob_Wallace

            More details about this were presented on another site.

            It seems that it’s much more than a simple 4 cent plug-in. There is apparently some history between the school and this individual.

            I’d have to side on the EV owner having no right to plug in without permission. Just as he would have no right to pick up a pen from a teacher’s desk.

            The jail time seems to have been over more than the 4c worth of electricity.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Just as he would have no right to pick up a pen from a teacher’s desk.”

            If other people have taken pens from teacher’s desks and the school didn’t care, I see no reason for them to complain now.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ll see if I can find more details about the case.

            It’s not as simple as presented in this article.

          • A Real Libertarian

            I recall seeing someone claim he was arrested because he was told he wasn’t allowed there, but he denied that and other people pointed out if that was the case he would have been arrested for trespassing.

          • Tom

            This is only according to the police. This has not been verified by anyone and all persons there, except the police officer, have denied it. Why are you taking the police’s word as final?

            These are the same guys who told the judge that the value of electricity was $10-$25 (they had 11 days to find out), entered the guy’s car illegally and then accused the guy of being uncooperative and argumentative.

            By contrast the driver is a 50 year old family man with no record of any prior arrest, is a business owner, has a Ph.D from an Ivy league school. Which one do you think is more credible?

            The driver’s response is posted here: http://liveapartmentfire.com/2013/12/09/alternating-current/#comment-16076

          • Bob_Wallace

            There’s another side to this story other than the car owner’s. I don’t recall the details at the moment but apparently this was not a first time problem with this guy and apparently he had no business on the school grounds. You might want to collect more facts rather than just taking the driver’s word.

            As for taking the electricity – he had no right to do so. Even if it was only a penny’s worth.

            The amount he took was very small and that makes the story more sensational, but the fact is he was taking something that belonged to others.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “There’s another side to this story other than the car owner’s. I don’t recall the details at the moment but apparently this was not a first time problem with this guy and apparently he had no business on the school grounds.”

            According to the same cops that kept lying about how much the electricity was worth.

          • Bob_Wallace

            According to the school officials who had previously asked him to not enter the school grounds without permission.

            The officer(s) got the amount wrong. That is not the same as lying.

            What I see on line is that the officers quickly acknowledged that the initial amount was very incorrect.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “According to the school officials who had previously asked him to not enter the school grounds without permission.”

            I haven’t seen that.

            “The officer(s) got the amount wrong. That is not the same as lying.

            What I see on line is that the officers quickly acknowledged that the initial amount was very incorrect.”

            I’ve seen that they claimed it in court that it was $10-$25 after the power company told them it was $0.04.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Let me suggest that this case seems to have been sensationalized. The “guy arrested for stealing 4 cents worth of electricity” makes a good headline.
            The facts seem to be left behind in most tellings. Some reports say that things are more complicated than is generally reported.

            What I read on line is that Kamooneh won’t even get a court hearing until February so it would be a bit difficult for the police to have lied in court.

            If this event interests you then you might want to spend some time and read past the headlines and see what facts have been made pubic.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “What I read on line is that Kamooneh won’t even get a court hearing until February so it would be a bit difficult for the police to have lied in court.”

            It was in the hearing to get the arrest warrant.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Arrest warrants are issued without formal hearings. A prosecutor goes to a judge and lays out what is known at that time and if he/she convinces the judge then a warrant is issued.

            Again. If you want to say something meaningful about this issue do a bit of investigation and get past the “News at 6 – If It Bleeds It Leads” stuff.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “A prosecutor goes to a judge and lays out what is known at that time and if he/she convinces the judge then a warrant is issued.”

            Yes, and what was known at the time was the power company saying it was $0.04 but they claimed it was $10-$25.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “As noted above, the total actually came to about 4 cents. But the important point in this case was that the police officers and representatives of the school didn’t seem to know this (or believe Kamooneh) before the expert opinion came in.”

            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/06/electric-car-owner-steals-4-cents-worth-electricity-jailed-15-hours-thats-full-story/#6EhY252dVCJ1oV7v.99
            Now, what have you seen that shows that the police had received the expert opinion prior to talking to the judge and getting an arrest warrant?

          • A Real Libertarian

            Sorry misread the article.

            He told them how much it was, they ignored him and refused to find out, they swore an affidavit with fake info.

          • Bob_Wallace

            If you were to take some time and gather some facts you might discover that the guy seems to be an asshole. He seems to have been somewhere that he did not have permission to be. And he seems to have been less than cooperative with the police.

            Did the police initially make a mistake about the value of the electricity stolen? Obviously. Most likely they knew nothing about the cost of charging and EV or how slow it is to charge off a 110 vac outlet and used the sort of cost they see when filling up a gas tank.

            That would have been ironed out during the court hearing (next February) if not sooner (as it was)? Obviously.

            Should the police have taken the word of someone who was breaking the law and being uncooperative? I think not.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Should the police have taken the word of someone who was breaking the law and being uncooperative? I think not.”

            1. He was breaking the law in a way most people at the school do.

            2. He was “being uncooperative” by complaining about the damage done to his car.

            3. They didn’t have to take his word, they could ask an expert.

            4. The cop on the scene did take his word. He was arrested when a desk jockey saw the report and sent cops to arrest him 11 days later.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Look, I really don’t give a damn about this case.

            You can look up the facts or you can continue to operate from a shallow data pool.

            Enjoy.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Bob I’m looking at the links provided.

            If you’ve got other facts can I please see them?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Sorry, I’m done. Dig them out yourself.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Are you OK?

            This really isn’t like you.

          • Tom

            Bob,
            The police lied, or at least misstated the value of the power, to get the arrest warrant, not in court while the driver was there.. Since you’re so good at getting the background story, it seems so strange that you keep getting the facts wrong.

            Have you read the guy’s response in other posts? He has denied several places and I put a link to one of those places above. Your posts of after that post, but you don’t even address that.. Again pretty strange for a man who keeps saying that there is more to the story and one should find out the background. Are you the police?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The way I understand it, the police had a wrong number for the value of the electricity when the warrant was issued.

            Getting something wrong does not mean that someone lied. The fact that the EV driver may have told them that the electricity stolen was worth only a few pennies has little bearing. People will claim they haven’t been drinking when they are close to passing out.

            If you have facts to the contrary then please post them.

            I have read some of the guy’s comments. That is one side of the story.
            I have read statement saying that the guy had been told to not enter school grounds without permission. That seems to be part of another side of the story.

            There also seems to be some issues about the guy cooperating with the police.

            I have taken no sides, that of the EV driver nor that of the police. I am simply saying that there seems to be a simplified version of the story that many people have taken up and it seems that that story is not complete or accurate.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “I have read statement saying that the guy had been told to not enter school grounds without permission.”

            If that was the case, why didn’t they arrest him for trespassing?

          • Tom

            In representing to the judge something that was 250 to 600 times exaggerated, they made a misrepresentation that may not be lying as you say, but does show such gross negligence to the citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed liberties. They had 11 days to find out and seemed not to have given a damn. Of course we already knew that they didn’t give a damn because they entered his car illegally too.
            I sure don’t want these guys policing my streets.

            And that you and others simply take what the police are saying as true is amazing to me. You are a poster, but that Zachary, the author of this article, is publishing an article reporting one side of the story as fact is not just amazing–it’s libelous and amazingly irresponsible.

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, Tom. I’m not making the mistake you’re making.

            I’m not taking the word of either side as fact.

            Many people have take the EV owner’s version to be true. We know that there is more to the story than what he reported.

            There seems to be some previous history with the owner and the school and it may be the case that he was not suppose to be on school grounds. Now, I don’t know that for a fact which means that I’m not taking the school’s side. But that does create doubt and because I don’t know all the facts I have not passed judgement on the case as some seem to have done.

          • Tom

            Again, this is according to the Police. They have not presented any evidence for that. The driver says he may take them to court on civil charges. Do you think he would do that if there was any evidence that he had been there before, disrupting the kids and been told no to come back.
            Do you know a lot 50 year old family men with a PhD who go around disrupting kids in schools? The guy, according to a quick Google search, taught university for awhile. Does that kind of behavior fit the profile?

            Now let me ask you this: Do police frequently lie to cover up when they screw up? Again, the police admit getting into the guys car and putting him in jail. All this has huge negative consequences for them. Do you think they have a motive to change the case?

            It’s so hard to see why you keep insisting that the police are more credible than the eco-conscious EV driver, who’s a published author (check google Bob), is obviously devoted enough to his kid to sit there and watch him get a tennis lesson.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Do you think he would do that if there was any evidence that he had been there before, disrupting the kids and been told no to come back.”

            People do weird stuff, Tom.

            Ph.D.s sometimes commit murder. Some are batshit crazy. I have been on university faculties with some Ph.D.s who clearly don’t follow the rules, often lose their temper and are frequent liars.

            Do you know why the police “got into the guy’s car”? Might they have been legitimately looking for registration? Or are you simply assuming they were up to no good?

            Look, this event is not important to me. My only involvement in this discussion is an attempt to keep this site fact based and not some sort of place for people to rant and post rumors.

            You aren’t arguing from a facts base, Tom. You’re doing stuff like ‘the guy has a Ph.D. therefore he’s innocent’.

          • tom

            I too am trying to be fact based.
            I am not saying because he has a PhD, he’s morally perfect.
            I am saying we have little evidence one way or the other. We weren’t there to see what happened, so we have to rely background and circumstantial evidence. Now all we know is that the guy is this and that. People with that profile usually don’t go around disrupting kids, etc.
            The police are under pressure. People are making fun of them; they’re getting tons of hate mail, etc.They lied about the value of the account, they entered his car, etc
            It would make sense that they would try to change the story.

            We still don’t know for sure, but we can make probability judgments. I am going to put my money on the guy being more honest than the police.
            All I am saying if two people say opposing things, all we know that one of them is saying something false. We don’t know which one. That everyone is assuming here that the guy lied betrays a pro-police bias that is not becoming of a democratic a democratic society.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “That everyone is assuming here that the guy lied betrays a pro-police bias that is not becoming of a democratic a democratic society.”

            Actually I see far more people believing the guy (without evidence) and damning the police. And that isn’t good for society either.

          • J_JamesM

            What a terrible way of thinking. This logic is so tortured I hardly know where to begin. For one, taxpayers are not entitled to anything that is not apportioned as their due. According to Kant’s ethical reasoning, if you can’t justify a maxim when carried out on the macro-scale as a universal law, then it is not justified on the micro scale or context either.

            Of course, you would think it wrong for even a taxpayer to claim a public good or service as his own; such as stealing a fighter jet. So why is it justified for a man to steal electricity that was apportioned to the schools? I suspect your flaw in reasoning stems from the fact that you apparently view taxes as a form of involuntary investment. Rather, they are actually a form of debt incurred from various services rendered that benefit the individual and society.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “According to Kant’s ethical reasoning, if you can’t justify a maxim when carried out on the macro-scale as a universal law, then it is not justified on the micro scale or context either.”

            You mean like “everyone else is allowed to charge up their electronic shit, therefore he is too”?

            “Of course, you would think it wrong for even a taxpayer to claim a public good or service as his own; such as stealing a fighter jet. So why is it justified for a man to steal electricity that was apportioned to the schools? I suspect your flaw in reasoning stems from the fact that you apparently view taxes as a form of involuntary investment. Rather, they are actually a form of debt incurred from various services rendered that benefit the individual and society.”

            “you would think it wrong for even a taxpayer to claim a public good or service as his own; such as stealing a fighter jet”

            No, that would be perfectly alright. if everyone else was allowed to do it, why not him?

            You have apparently combined Ayn Rands meth-induced delusions of how Kantian morality works with Ayn Rands meth-induced delusions of how morality works.

            To which I can only say “damn, that’s impressive”.

          • J_JamesM

            “You mean like ‘everyone else is allowed to charge up their electronic shit, therefore he is too?’”

            Is the concept of permission foreign to you? Not everyone is allowed to tap the mains whenever they like for whatever reason without permission. Obviously.

            You can’t just take what you want from other people. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that?

            “No, that would be perfectly all right [stealing a fighter jet].”

            To which I can only say, “Wow! What the hell is wrong with you?”

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Not everyone is allowed to tap the mains whenever they like for whatever reason without permission. Obviously.”

            Obviously he’s not allowed to charge his electric gadgets unlike everyone else.

            “To which I can only say, ‘Wow! What the hell is wrong with you?’ ”

            What’s “wrong” with me is that I despise systems of “morality” that say “these moral standards are universal, except for that guy, who’re going to hold to standards no one else is for no reason”.

            The hypocrisy is nauseating.

          • J_JamesM

            You’re calling me a hypocrite? For saying that taking things without asking permission is wrong? I’d love to see how you justify this.

          • A Real Libertarian

            No, you’re a hypocrite for saying that taking things without asking permission is A-OK, except when this guy does it for some reason.

    • Tom

      Not at all the same situation. There you’re asking a private person to pay (eletric bill) for the benefit that the public enjoys (benefits of clean EVs). Since the public pays for the electric bill in a school and they’re paying very little for it, it’s a good deal for them–a lot better than say the tennis court that they pay to build and maintain. In the private case you have to ask of course, in the public case it’s not at all clear specially since no one was there to ask.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Zach, thanks for posting this. It explains a lot of what I had heard but didn’t understand. As always, the comments are enlightening(and should I say entertaining)

  • TedKidd

    …uhhh, “told to stay off the property”…? Then wouldn’t the charge be trespassing?

    What a bunch of liars, trying to cover their ignorance, instead exposing stupidity and deceit.

    If they had any integrity they’d simply admit this was new to them and they made the wrong call. To err is human, to cover up is dishonest.

    • Mark

      That’s the heart of the cognitive dissonance with this story, TedKidd, I agree. When I first saw this story, I was amazed about the jail-time for the amount of property stolen — when’s the last time a shoplifter was jailed for taking a piece of gum? Theft *is* theft, but we knew there had to be more to this story, as there usually is, beyond a shocking headline. Most judges use common sense to administer justice, balance a crime with a punishment.

      If the man was violating trespassing policy/law (or a restraining order) then why wasn’t that the basis of charges? If he was belligerent with the police, they have every right to detain him. But to go back with an arrest warrant hours or days later? Obviously something other than the theft of plugging in for an hour was at play, here. The school district pushed to have charges levied, but what is its real agenda in doing so? Were they mad at this man for driving onto their tennis courts during school hours, after repeatedly (or even once) asking him not to? The nickel isn’t worth 15 hours of jail time on its own.

      • A Real Libertarian

        “trying to cover their ignorance”

        Didn’t you read TedKidd’s comment?

        • TedKidd

          ARL and Mark,

          Cognitive dissonance is the perfect description. It is baffling and my conclusions have no guarantee of being close to correct – so it is interesting to see who agrees and disagrees, what new details are added, and the quality of thought behind the positions of others.

          Being a staunch EV fan, I’m very interested in what turns this story takes.

          I know of no public schools that don’t allow people to use their outside facilities (tennis courts, ball fields) after hours.

          Was he really parked on the tennis court? I missed that, and having issue with improper use such as that could help explain things some.

  • Marion Meads

    The range anxiety of pure battery EV may have contributed to the compulsive behavior of opportunistic plugging everywhere the owners see an outlet, just to make sure they can get home.

    • Ronald Brakels

      It’s a well known fact that the first thing people with electric car range anxiety normally do is purchase a Nissan Leaf.

      • TedKidd

        Ronald, do you own or have you driven an electric car (more than just a test drive)? I’ve found that how you imagine an experience will be is usually quite different from how it actually is.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Ted, best you adjust your snark meter….

          • TedKidd

            Bob, your post appears trolish. It has no substance other than as reprimand your perception of my intent. Are you a narcissist attempting to elevate yourself at my expense?

            If you disagree with my content, make an an argument that can stand on it’s merits rather than a personal attack on my style.

            My post was truth as I see it. It is in response to a somewhat bizarre and possibly sarcastic reply to Marion’s comment about what people with range anxiety might do.

            I assumed Ron is here to learn if he can and offered perspective he may not yet have. I do not know his experience with electric cars. He seems not to understand that range anxiety isn’t like some incurable disease, it is situational. (I notice no reprimand of Ron’s tone? Hmmm. )

            While not an electric car expert, I have fair depth of experience with electric cars and know from personal experience and discussions with others that living with an electric car is dramatically schema changing. My perception of what it would be like was often completely wrong, surprisingly so.

            I live within city limits and drive my 2009 GEM as often as my TDI. I have range anxiety with this car, and if testing limits I do carry an extension cord and plug in at every opportunity.

            I was loaned a Leaf for two days, so that experience is deeper than the average test drive. I would probably have bouts of range anxiety with this car.

            I visited my Aunt and Uncle for 3 weeks and had very generous access to their S85 (tesla). There was no range anxiety with this car. Typical end of day range was 150-200 miles. We never plugged in other than at home.

            It will be interesting to see if you are they type who likes to hear yourself talk but adds little, or are interested in moving conversations forward so that everyone benefits. Given your huge post count and small number of followers, I’m not optimistic.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Ron is a writer for this site.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Look up the meaning of “snark”.

          • TedKidd

            Wow, that was an interesting search. One of the results: Snark – look up Bob_Wallace
            :-)

    • TedKidd

      My cousin plugs his S85 (big battery Tesla) in every time he returns to his garage, even though that car is likely to last a WEEK before needing a charge.

      As owner of a NEV, on the rare occasion that I might be pushing limits I can understand the impulse to plug in at every opportunity.

  • Otis11

    New coverage like the one linked could actually be a net positive for EVs… People should take the message he was arrested not because he made a mistake, but because he was trespassing when he made the mistake, and EVs are very cheap to drive…

    4c?!?! That’s right, 4c… That might actually get him a few miles or so…

    (Take that with a grain of salt, but last time I did the calculation it came out to ~1c/mile for electricity alone. But then again, that was a while ago… both prices and efficiency have changed so might have gone up or down slightly)

    • Bob_Wallace

      0.3 kWh/mile is good enough for back of envelop calculations.

      US average electricity price is in the $0.12/kWh range.

      4 cents worth of stolen electricity should get you about a mile down the road.

      • Otis11

        I was estimating a little less than 2 miles, but then again I figure <$0.10/kWh here in Texas. (Disclaimer, idk what the average is, but my brother (Dallas), myself (Austin), and parents (Houston) all are <10c)

        So, 4c/mile is the new estimate? Good to know…

        • Bob_Wallace

          It’s a rough estimate that, if anything, errs on the side of the anti-EV crowd. With TOU charging it probably costs a lot less in some places.
          $3.50/gallon and an avg US 25 MPG car = 14 cents/mile.

          $3.50/ gallon and a 50 MPG hybrid = 7 cents/mile.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yes, this story could be a huge booster for awareness about how cheap it is to fuel electric cars. :D

  • Svenonia

    I am an electrical engineer with an electric car. There are a lot of etiquitte problems that people need to learn. EV owners are not entitled to plug in. That 120v charge for an hour will not make the difference to getting home or not. Just don’t charge.

    Marion Meads, you don’t know what you are talking about. “Unrated or uncertified system”. The outlet was tested by UL, the power system designed by a Professional Engineer per the National Electrical Code, installed by a licensed electrician, and approved by a government Inspector. The adaptor plug that comes with the car works just like plugging in any appliance. It is simple and works on any plug. When you travel do you check if the plug is certified for use with your hair dryer?

    Your hair dryer draws more power than the car charger. There is very little risk of a sudden draw of current. Either the circuit is overloaded or it is not. Like having a microwave and dishwasher on the same circuit. The sudden draw of current doesn’t trip the breaker. Having too much plugged in trips the current. A breaker can actually allow more current than it’s rated capacity for short periods of time. Like 22a on a 20a breaker for a minute or two before it will trip. There are also no life-support systems sharring a circuit with the outdoor outlet. Even in the hospitals and elderly care buildings this does not happen. Houses are wired to be cheap and the outdoor outlets are on the same circuit as the bathroom so they can share a GFI breaker. What life support would ever be in a bathroom? Do not add fear to a conversation if you know nothing about the topic.

    • Marion Meads

      Svenonia, if I were your boss I would have you fired for lack of experience in the real world. You know nothing about the real world, while I on the other hand have way more experience than you. The way you speak indicates that you are very unprofessional and I would never hire the likes of you.

      The UL tested is not a guarantee that they won’t trip the circuit breakers, only textbook readers believe that. I have been to many houses and installations by licensed electricians and professional engineers. Many circuit breakers trip by plugging even half the load that they were rated for, even in new houses. This is in part due to subcontracting to cheaper labor. Passing an inspection reduces the probability of a faulty installation but it doesn’t guarantee freedom from failure, especially through the passage of time.

      Time has a great influence on many things, and when you don’t own the outlet, chances are you are no longer sure if it is as safe as it is supposed to be, as many things deteriorate through time especially the outdoor outlets. Timely inspections of these outlets are seldom practiced in school
      buildings and the only time I see re-inspection on residential houses is
      when they sell it. How could you miss such common scenarios? You should be stripped of your license because it shows that you are inexperienced.

      I have seen poor people in old houses with their crappy ventilators, and I know they want to get by with what they have, and I have seen some of those tripped and reset when connecting electric lawn mower (5A).

      Not all electrical outlets out there are properly matched or rated from the main circuit panel, to the proper gauge wires used, to the outdoor outlets, especially if they are installed DIY commonly done in rural areas. Many farmers do the wiring themselves and they have gotten by for several decades of farming without hiring electricians. Would you plug to those outlets?

      I can cite many other real world examples. You live in the city, and think that the world is spic and span, you are mistaken, a caveman may have more sense than you.

      • TedKidd

        Life support systems connected to an uninspected circuit? Composition fallacy, among others.

        When your argument starts out weak you might be suspected a fool. Best policy is to not later prove it.

        • Marion Meads

          Not all guidelines are followed and not all machines are inspected in the real world. You have to get out more. Faulty circuits are real, unmaintained electric outlets are real and ubiquitous.

          My main point that everyone has missed so far is not to plug anywhere but only in places where the LIABILITY issues rests with the owner of the recharging facility. These places are well tested and maintained, the rest, you should not trust. If you plug without permission, the liability will rest on you for any and all subsequent damages triggered by your plugging in.

          • Svenonia

            Your main point is incorrect. To only be able to charge an EV at an official recharging facility is extremely limiting without cause. What is special about plugging in an EV than any other electrical appliance? It has a nameplate rating. It has a plug size appropriately for the appliance. This plug was specifically made to give people more flexibility. I used it exclusively for a month until my home charger was installed. The 35-year old wall outlet in the garage worked just fine the entire month. I think my TV might have been on the same circuit.

            You may say this is simplistic thinking but this is our system in the US and most everywhere in the world. Just like I said in my hair dryer example. It draws more power than the plug-in car charger. Do you check to see if the outlet can handle the hair dryer before using it? Wouldn’t we all be acting idealistically every time we plug anything in, just assuming it will work?

            You must really be scared driving anything since your car has ‘never tested for the conditions you expose it to on a daily basis. And while some cars have crash tests done, only a few samples of the car were actually tested, and not for every condition, and therefore is not a guarantee that you are safe. Not all guidelines are followed and not all machines are inspected in the real world. You have to get out more. Faulty conditions are real, unmaintained cars are real and ubiquitous.’
            Your main point assumes nothing works until it has been tested. That death and destruction are a real possibility when plugging in my appliance (EV car). But your appliance hair dryer) is okay because you’ve been using it for years and are used to it. I’d hate to see what happens when all of those new coffee makers get plugged in for Christmas. Lawsuits will fly.

  • Marion Meads

    I am not worried about the price of electricity. I wouldn’t even try plugging in to an unrated or uncertified system that I don’t know if it will handle the load or not.

    A sudden drain of power from an electric outlet could trip the circuit. Then it may do the worse thing much more than the price of electricity. If that circuit of the household with life support equipment for example, gets tripped, and the patient dies, it could become a criminal offense. The connected sensitive and costly laboratory experiments could be damaged by the sudden surge, could trigger fire, or false alarm, or disable the security system. No sir, I don’t want to risk the complication out of an innocent urge to get a freebie energy.

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