How To Protect Your Nissan LEAF Level 1 Charger From Theft – video

3 years ago by Jay Cole 8


If you own a Nissan LEAF, you are probably aware that the locking mechanism to secure your L1 charging unit is, well…a little flimsy.

InsideEVs reader (and AVÉQ forum admin) François recently had his 2013 LEAF’s charging cord lifted (2011/2012 LEAFs did not have a locking system) – a very expensive proposition to replace (at least if you look to reacquire the unit from Nissan), and passed on to us a nifty video (click subtitles for English) he made of how to steal a replacement one back easy it is to have one stolen.

As a solution to the problem, Franck compiled a pictorial walkthrough of ways to more effectively guard your EV’s charging cord in public areas.  (You can also check out his thread on the subject (in French) at the Forums AVÉQ)

The most common that prevents the handle to lift method, even if the lock on the charging port is not engaged

The most common that prevents the handle to lift method, even if the lock on the charging port is not engaged (via AVEQ forums)

Simple method that could be enough to deter a thief (via AVEQ forums)

Simple method that could be enough to deter a thief (via AVEQ forums)

Another method that requires to have mags designed to be able to run the wire.  (via AVEQ forums)

Another method that requires to have mags designed to be able to run the wire. (via AVEQ forums)

Permanent method of the type of positioning the EVSE in the engine compartment  (via AVEQ forums)

Permanent method of the type of positioning the EVSE in the engine compartment (via AVEQ forums)

Then pass the extension and the gun on the sides and close the hood. (via AVEQ forums)

Then pass the extension and the gun on the sides and close the hood. (via AVEQ forums)

A little more trouble, but probably very effective, unless the thief is equipped with a "jack" (via AVEQ forums)

A little more trouble, but probably very effective, unless the thief is equipped with a “jack” (via AVEQ forums)

Finally, the method Franck has adopted, to the EVSE crossed in the suitcase (via AVEQ forums)

Finally, the method Franck has adopted, to the EVSE crossed in the suitcase (via AVEQ forums)

Tailgate the first "click" is closed and bar the doors.  (via AVEQ forums)

Tailgate the first “click” is closed and bar the doors. (via AVEQ forums)

Franck adds additional security by blocking the EVSE inside the bag, with a small metal hook underneath the carpet. (via AVEQ forums)

Franck adds additional security by blocking the EVSE inside the bag, with a small metal hook underneath the carpet. (via AVEQ forums)

Our thanks to François for the video and walkthroughs!

Tags: , , ,

8 responses to "How To Protect Your Nissan LEAF Level 1 Charger From Theft – video"

  1. DaveMart says:

    No locking system at all on the Kia Soul, I hear.
    It is a good job that people in the US are invariably honest!

  2. David Murray says:

    We’re just lucky that most thieves don’t know the value of the portable EVSEs. On the other hand, I don’t personally know anyone who charges with a portable unit on a regular basis. I’ve only done it once and it was at a hotel who had 120V sockets available.

  3. Lou says:

    Not sure if the Volt has any sort of locking device… I guess I will need to take a look at the charging cable and pistol grip. My old I-MiEV had the same unit as the LEAF, but the Volt handle is different… However, as I think about it, I don’t have the same urgency to charge if I am away from home since the Volt has the on board range extender. On a related note, most automobile insurance policies cover the theft of the cable/unit under Comprehensive Coverage(mine only has a $100 deductible, but many people now carry $500 deductibles). Also, you could buy one of the 120V/240V portable units out there for around $600 if necessary. In fact(unless you’d already added the EVSE Upgrade) I think you’d have a better end result than getting another Nissan/Panasonic unit.

    Lou

  4. Big Solar says:

    Hey, thats not a charger.

  5. Kakkerlak says:

    A fellow Focus Electric driver showed me how to secure the EVSE under the hood and run an extension cord to the outlet.

    My neighborhood scroungers will steal anything made of metal, and would likely just pull it out and cut the wire if they knew what it was, but switching off the charge port lights and using a black extension cord minimizes the visibility of my charging rig.

    I like all the other ingenious examples, especially the one that ties and padlocks knot in the cord !

  6. Surya says:

    Looking at the Type 2 locking system, it appears to not have the same problem. But it’s good to see the problem is easy to fix, even though it shouldn’t exist in the first place of course.

  7. François Viau says:

    Here’s the official answer from Nissan about this video: “The charge lock feature on Nissan LEAF is not intended to prevent theft of the charging cordset. It is designed to discourage someone from unplugging the vehicle while a charging session is in progress,” said spokesperson Brian Brockman. “The trickle charge cable features a small hole in the release button to allow the owners to insert a lock to reduce the chance of theft.”

    Is Nissan cutting on their engineering staff? What a lazy answer… it’s like if they would say: ” The door lock feature is not intended to prevent theft of the car. It is designed to discourage someone to open the door while it’s closed. However, the door handle features a small hole in the release button to allow the owner to insert a lock to reduce the chance of theft”. Would that make sense? I’m so disappointed by Nissan.

  8. Chris says:

    Can nissan owner use volt charger? It’s $600 for volt charger level 1 instead of $ 2000 Level 1 rip off from nissan. I just buy a clipper creek charger with 60 amp capability level 2 for around $ 1000. Nissan is like politician a real good thief