An EV driver can be vulnerable to crime while charging their car due to their inability to drive away quickly. The problem is inherent to how an EV works. EVs cannot be plugged in and immediately driven away — drivers must wait for the battery to sufficiently recharge before departing, which can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour (depending on the car and the charger, along with charging needs). This waiting period could give criminals enough time to plan an attack against the driver and their vehicle, leaving them exposed and vulnerable during this time frame.
Should a criminal attack, the driver can’t just drive off, because the car is locked to the charging station. Most EVs can’t even get out of park, an important safety feature that helps keep people from driving away, breaking the station, and exposing high voltage and amps to the open air.
In addition, some electric charging stations are located in remote or unpopulated areas which may not have adequate lighting or security measures, and both of these factors further increase the risk of criminal activity when an EV driver is charging their car.
A couple of weeks ago, you might have seen an announcement for an EV charging adapter that helps address this problem. The adapter doesn’t change one type of plug to another, but provides another important feature: the ability to disconnect and drive away without needing to get out of the car and unplug it. EVject is introducing a new breakaway adapter that will provide EV drivers with the ability to quickly disconnect from charging stations, allowing them to get away from potentially dangerous or threatening situations. This adapter ensures that drivers can remain in control of their vehicle at all times and have the ability to flee when necessary. The breakaway adapter is designed for easy installation and provides peace of mind for EV owners who are concerned about being left vulnerable while recharging their vehicles.
“Many charging stations are located in dark, isolated, and potentially unsafe areas, often making drivers feel unsafe while charging their vehicle,” said Erick Vega, CEO of EVject. “There are numerous videos online of EV drivers facing dangerous circumstances. We wanted to provide an escape option in these situations.”
EVject’s new breakaway adapter is compatible with Tesla vehicles and chargers, giving drivers the power to escape threatening or dangerous situations. The adapter can easily be installed by attaching it to the charging head when plugging in. In an emergency situation, pressing the “Unlock Charge Port” button on the touchscreen will instantly disconnect the charger from the vehicle, allowing drivers to immediately shift into Drive and get away. This adapter ensures that both the vehicle’s charging port and charger head are protected during this process. Furthermore, EVject plans to release other versions of their adapter for a variety of different electric vehicle brands and charging connectors in the near future.
“We are eager to partner with EVject on the launch of their new EV charging safety adapter,” said A.J. Rounds, co-founder of venture firm RevRoad. “We are confident that this product will be a game-changer for the industry and are excited to see how it will impact the future of EV charging.”
The Problem: Personal Safety Isn’t A Device You Can Buy
While this product does give drivers the option to flee in the event of a criminal attack, and appears to work well, it’s important to not lean too hard on gizmos and machines to stay safe.
One example that will probably resonate with the audience here is guns. Many people in the States think obtaining personal safety is as easy as going down to the local gun shop, buying one, and then leaving it in the glove box or dropping it into a holster or purse. But, as a firearms instructor, I’ve had to remind people that just buying a gun alone isn’t a great move.
If you don’t know how to be safe with it, don’t know how to effectively use it, or don’t have the right attitude, the weapon can easily leave you in a worse spot than you were without it. Even worse, it can cause a whole bunch of other people serious grief if the wrong person gets hold of it. Or, if you misuse it, even trying to act in legitimate self defense, you could easily end up in prison.
So, while I’m generally a supporter of the right to own one, I’ve also discouraged a number of people from making the choice to carry one. Just learning a bit more about the serious responsibility involved (something every instructor should instill in people) has often been enough to see a student walk out of the class saying they’ve decided against it, with many others saying they probably won’t carry very often despite getting the permit or license.
But, that’s just an example, so don’t get hung up on it. The point I’m trying to make is that safety isn’t something you can just go buy at a store any more with a breakaway adapter than you can with a foolish impulse gun buy.
No matter what machines or Tesla accessories you happen to own, you’ll still be up the creek without a paddle if you aren’t doing more important things like paying attention to your surroundings, taking good care of your mental health (so you don’t have a panic attack in a bad situation), and thinking before choosing a charging station.
We also don’t want to make the mistake of letting breakaway charging absolve charging providers of their responsibility to make good choices. It might be cheaper to install a charging station in a high crime area with low property values, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great place to install a station aimed at interstate travelers. Overly bright lights that blind you to attackers is another common mistake.
So, while the EVject is probably a good product that gives you more options, it shouldn’t be seen as a complete answer to safety while charging. After all, to use the breakaway feature, you have to see the threat coming and have enough presence of mind to use a touchscreen.
Featured image by EVject.
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