• Business Business

City officials take action after discovering concerning pattern of destruction at local EV charging stations: 'I doubt any other place around the world has seen anything like this'

"The US can be such a weird place at times."

"The US can be such a weird place at times."

Photo Credit: iStock

A local ABC News report out of Fresno, California, detailed how the city's new electric vehicle chargers — installed to support the growing number of EVs in the area — are under threat. 

"Out of the 88 that the City of Fresno has, approximately 50-60 have been vandalized, and multiple times as well," Melissa Almaguer, the parking division manager of the city, said.

Some Reddit commenters addressing similar reports were quick to add context. "It's not vandalism, it's copper theft," one noted.

Indeed, the chargers include plenty of valuable metals, which are often removed during these acts of vandalism or theft.

To resolve this issue, custom cabinets need to be built around the chargers to protect them. However, that will be costly and slow-going.

"We do not repair the ones that have been damaged until the steel cabinet has been installed. And then we repair them, but in addition to that, we have also increased our security," Almaguer said. The cost of protecting all 88 units is $176,000.

Fresno isn't alone in suffering setbacks in its EV infrastructure plans. Vandalism at stations around the country is on the rise, impacting areas from Houston to Sparks, Nevada.

There are issues with charging reliability and wait times as well. According to a 2023 J.D. Power study, one in five people visiting a station left without using it.

At the same time, several major automakers have pledged to invest $1 billion in improving the charging infrastructure. The plan includes adding fast chargers that can power a battery in 30 minutes or less. The first of these stations is expected to be operational by the end of the year.  

The White House is also on board with supporting these sustainable transportation initiatives.

"Since the President took office, EV sales have more than quadrupled, with more than four and a half million EVs on the road," according to a statement. "The number of publicly available charging ports has also grown by over 70 percent, with 170,000 publicly available EV chargers across the country, putting us on track to deploy 500,000 chargers by 2026."

Hopefully, as more people make the switch to EVs, cases of vandalism or theft at charging stations will decline as public awareness grows about the numerous benefits EVs provide, including reducing harmful planet-warming pollution and saving consumers tons of cash on gas and maintenance. 

Some commenters expressed disbelief in the mistreatment of these beneficial tools.

"The US can be such a weird place at times," one on InsideEVs stated, "I doubt any other place around the world has seen anything like this."

Another offered a level-headed suggestion, saying, "Surely the answer is to have manned stations, you know, like gas stations used to be, with the bonus that if there are any problems with charging there's someone to help you."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider