Man Arrested in First Electric Car-Related Case of Siphoning | TechWell

Man Arrested in First Electric Car-Related Case of Siphoning

Charges are reportedly going to be dropped in the case against a Georgia man accused of stealing four cents’ worth of electricity from a school parking lot. But the incident has set off a national discussion as electric car users realize there are very few laws that govern charging their vehicles.

Environmentalists and some lawmakers are eager for electric car use to increase. As a result, the number of charging stations for the vehicles is growing, with researchers predicting more than 11 million locations worldwide by the year 2020. Automakers seem to realize the importance of having convenient charging locations available to improve electric car sales.

As cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Fit EV have made electric vehicles more mainstream, car owners like Kaveh Kamooneh have been challenged to keep their vehicles going. Kamooneh was arrested in November for stealing what the police department said was ten dollars’ to twenty-five dollars’ worth of electricity. Kamooneh insists his Nissan Leaf had only been connected to the charging station in a school parking lot for twenty minutes before police showed up. According to Georgia Power, a twenty-minute charge would use electricity costing approximately four cents.

Kamooneh spent fifteen hours in jail for the infraction, making headlines around the country. When questioned by the media about arresting someone for such a small amount, an officer stated that he didn’t know the exact dollar amount of the stolen electricity.

According to the police department, Kamooneh had been asked to stay off school grounds in the past, and in charging his vehicle, he was going against this request. While he did not admit to the previous warning, Kamooneh did readily state that he often uses publicly accessible charging stations without asking permission.

Part of the problem is that electric charging stations are still in short supply. Unlike the owners of traditional cars, electric car owners can’t simply pull into one of many gas stations to refuel. In an emergency, some electric car owners may take desperate measures, leading to what will undoubtedly become new laws governing charging stations for electric cars.

As electric cars continue to grow in popularity, schools, libraries, and churches will likely become targets for electric car owners looking for a quick recharge. Businesses will also fall prey to desperate drivers, with electric cars potentially taking up valuable parking spaces during prime business hours. To prevent this abuse, property owners and the automotive industry will likely be called upon to enact guidelines.

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