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City's EV chargers fall victim to 'frustrating' serial vandalization: 'There is a lack of supply ... and now vandals are compounding things'

"It's not a victimless crime."

"It's not a victimless crime."

Photo Credit: iStock

If you're cruising through the Twin Cities looking for a charging station to power up your electric vehicle, you may run into an infuriating problem. 

The Star Tribune in Minnesota reports that vandals are cutting cables on EV chargers around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Officials say about 83 chargers have been damaged since the city started installing public charging spots. 

The vandalism has frustrated residents and city officials. Minneapolis has reportedly spent around $46,000 replacing 46 cut cords. "It's frustrating on so many levels for everyone. It's problematic because people can't charge their cars. It is not a victimless crime," said Lisa Hiebert, a spokeswoman with St. Paul's Public Works Department

Meanwhile, residents who switched to an EV are fed up with trying to charge their cars only to find a cut cable. 

"There is a lack of supply [of charging stations], and now vandals are compounding things," Mike Norton told the Star Tribune. Norton recently drove his Ford Mustang Mach-E to a curbside station in Minneapolis and found a disabled charger. 

Tesla has installed cameras in many of its charging stations, and it seems that may have to become the norm across the industry to safeguard against these acts. 

Unfortunately, these types of aggravated acts against EV owners are occurring across the country. Whether it's vandalizing chargers, blatantly blocking EV owners from chargers, or "rolling coal" at bicyclists and EV drivers, there is a faction of people in this country who seem afraid of change — just not climate change — and are protesting in childish and dangerous ways. 

Drastically rising levels of carbon dioxide are directly related to the warming of our planet, and transportation is responsible for 16.2% of the carbon pollution in the world. 

Instead of driving a gas-burning car, making your next car an EV will help to offset those factors, and charging infrastructure overall has been solid and growing across the country. EV prices are still slightly higher in many cases, but there are rebates up to $7,500 available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Some states, such as Colorado, are offering their own incentives on top of the federal one. 

Luckily, there are plenty of even better modes of transportation either way. Whether walking more often, biking, or taking public transportation, you will save money and help cool down our planet. 

The Star Tribune article was posted to Reddit, where many users were also frustrated by the vandalism. While there is a small amount of copper in these cables, leading some to believe people are stealing them to scrap the valuable metal, others think there's more at play.

"In some of these cases, the cables have been left behind. It's either random acts of vandalism or politically motivated vandalism," one Redditor wrote

"Feels politically motivated, especially with the lack of theft," another added

Another user explained why the cables that have been stolen don't seem worth the risk. "My understanding is that if you scrap one of these charging cables, you're going to get maybe $20," they wrote. "It doesn't seem like a very profitable crime and makes me wonder if the culprits are motivated more by ideology than money."

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