The UK’s largest EV public rapid charging network has warned vandals and thieves that it’s cracking down on crime.

Industry leader InstaVolt says a spate of cable cutting incidences is leaving chargers unusable and harming critical infrastructure. This is affecting EV drivers including healthcare workers and teachers, and risks deterring prospective drivers who want to make the move to electric cars. The cost to industry is running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

InstaVolt has seen more than 20 EV charging sites across the Midlands and Yorkshire targeted by gangs since November. CEO Delvin Lane said: “Although these sites are targeted by organised crime gangs, it’s a misconception that the copper brings real financial gain. The value of any metal stolen is insignificant. The thefts just cause disruption to EV drivers – including those in the emergency services – looking to charge their vehicles.”

The company has introduced robust measures around its charging stations to deter any further damage including installing extra CCTV; introducing security patrols; using SmartWater to tag property and utilising tracking devices to ensure InstaVolt cables can be identified.

Lane added: “We are taking this very seriously and are engaged with the police at all levels. We are calling on the industry to come together to use the full force of the law. It’s not just the thieves we’re after, but also the scrap dealers who are handling this stolen product.

“The EV revolution is already under way with more than 1,000,000 EVs on the road. Our mission is to make EV charging as easy as possible, and reliability is one of our core values. As an industry we need to be giving drivers confidence that they will be able to charge their car and we need to see swift law enforcement against the criminals causing disruption to EV drivers.”

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