We hear that from time to time and we’ve realized that we never announced that the search is over – we found it, or rather we found them. Corded charging problems that is.
There are workarounds for each of these problems but put together they explain why nearly all (if not all) EV manufacturers have hands-free, charging programs in the pipeline.
SPIDERS (AND OTHER CRITTERS)
Insects and spiders sometimes find charger plugs a comfy home – trigger warning: spiders…in a charger!
THEY HAVE TO BE PLUGGED IN
There are three complaints about the daily hassles of the plug we hear over and over:
- People forget to plug in their EVs, even with reminder apps (don’t judge, have you never disregarded a notification or an alarm clock?) People forget, it happens. And no, it’s not your spouse’s fault
- Humans aren’t evolved for plugging in when juggling groceries, kids or anything that requires three hands
- Dirty cords and plugs – some EV owners tell us that their charging system is the source of unwelcome grit and grime – this is also a very common perception by would-be EV owners
ICED (FROZEN OR SNOWED IN) CHARGERS
‘Tis the season for frozen charge ports and snow-covered and slushy cords.
Tesla owners have come up with all sorts of random hacks to get their electrons despite frozen charge ports. Having a garage solves for this (not everyone has a garage) but not all charging happens at home. As EVs proliferate so will the need for outdoor charging.
VANDALISM & THEFT
The highest profile case of EV charger sabotage (apart from the EV1) has to be the extensive damage doled out to the Tesla Superchargers along the Los Angeles – Las Vegas corridor this past November. It was a dramatic example of an unfortunately regular hassle with corded chargers. It is not uncommon to read about plugs stuffed with mud and cords deliberately cut or otherwise intentionally damaged. Many are just outright stolen. There are a few tamper-resistant charger models and even some cord-locking hacks for EV owners to slow down copper thieves. But these solutions unfortunately also slow down EV drivers.
WEAR & TEAR
Not all damage to corded chargers is intentional. Any product that is regularly pulled, dragged, attached, detached, coiled and hung has friction points that eventually wear out. And accidents will happen…
CHARGERS GET RUN OVER
Chargers are meant to be coiled up and stowed away between charging for good reason. The plug end of the charger isn’t designed to be run over. Of course, it happens anyway and with 1000+ pounds per tire, the corded charger usually loses (as this Plug-in Prius owner discovered the hard way).
EV early adopters deal with these issues with corded charging because it’s part of the electrified lifestyle and until recently this was the only method of charging. And yes, most are these issues are minor, but together they almost certainly keep people from making the leap to EVs.
In fact, we know a few EV drivers who made the leap to plug-ins once they heard they didn’t need to plug-in. As the EV industry rapidly moves toward wireless charging (we can’t wait) that effect will increase. In fact, that is our mission.