EV Charger Siphoning – Condo Owners Beware!

EV siphoning (syphoning) is a thing. It takes the form of illegally removing electricity from one source to another.

 Yes, EV Charging can provoke a bit of conundrum and unexpected situations. How can Condo and EV owners restrict unwelcome usage, control access to the point, and track the flow of electricity?


Conventional Fueling


Conventional Routine

We are all familiar with the practice of transferring gasoline from one car to another or from a car to a gasoline container. If the cars, or the container, belong to the same owner it’s not a problem. Nevertheless, if assuming the converse, then it is called stealing. Fortunately, siphoning gasoline is made difficult today because many cars have lockable gas tanks. However, it was not always like that.

Siphoning can also take the form of illegally stealing gas from a gas station. In the past, this was also easier than it is today, but it still happens. From time to time we read stories in the press about a driver filling up without paying.


Electric Transformation


Electric Transformation

We are in the early days of EV ownership. As more drivers take to the streets, and more EV cars in our parking spaces, the practice of siphoning electricity will be tested. This may take the form of one car plugging into another to steal a charge without the owner’s knowledge or approval. Although this may be technically difficult or restricted due to locked charging ports, it won’t prevent someone from trying. The more likely scenario is siphoning from a private charger.

Almost all gas pumps are now locked. They can’t be activated unless you insert a credit card, or the operator remotely unlocks the pump. In the case of private EV chargers, this is not the case. Private EV chargers come without a lock. In many cases, they don’t even have a locking mechanism. This means that if one has physical access to the charger then they can initiate a charge. If the private charger is in a locked or private garage space of the owner, it’s not a problem. However, that is not the case in condominiums.


Condo Strategy

Condominium Strategy

Condominiums provide parking in a common garage area. Every parking spot is open to every other one. EV owners have no choice but to have their EV charger located within their parking spot. The 18-foot, 20-foot, or even 25-foot charging cable that comes with the charger can certainly reach the parking spots next to the charger on the eighter side. Each owner is responsible for the cost of their electricity consumption. In this environment, condominium owners are exposed to unscrupulous neighbors who may want to steal a few kilowatts. How easy would it be for your neighbor to unplug your car, charge theirs, and return the plug without you knowing? Likely very easy. 

No one expects people to freely walk into their condo units, but precautions are taken in the form of locks. It’s likely never to happen but one still locks the door to their condo unit. No one expects electricity theft, but in an open area like a garage, with no locks, doors, or walls, the temptation is greater.


Yes, EV charger siphoning is a thing.    

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