Tuesday, December 10, 2013

News: Nissan Leaf Owner Arrested for Charging Car Without Asking

Image courtesy of Accuracy in Media
With more and more electric cars hitting the roads, public charging stations are popping up almost as fast as the cars are being sold. However, with only about 6,800 public charging stations available in the United States, charging your electric car away from home is not always an easy proposition.

Such was the case for Nissan Leaf owner Kaveh Kamooneh. Kamooneh plugged his Nissan Leaf to an external outlet at a Chamblee, GA middle school where his son was taking part in a sporting event. After charging his car for only five minutes, a police officer approached and asked whether Kamooneh had permission from the school to be using the outlet. Kamooneh noted that there were no school staff around at the time, and the officer accused him of stealing. Kamooneh was arrested at his home 11 days later, and was forced to spend a night in county jail. How much electricity did Kamooneh actually steal? Reports claim a paltry five cents. According to a Chamblee police sergeant though, the amount did not matter. The sergeant claims that the fact Kamooneh was stealing was what mattered.

Because there is not an abundance of electric car charging stations across the nation, there may come a time in an electric car owner's life where they will need to charge their car at a stranger's home, a store, or, in Kamooneh's case, a school. Until the infrastructure for public charging stations can be beefed up, it would seem there needs to be some sort of social protocol regarding charging an electric vehicle outside of a public charging station.

So I ask you, dear readers: what do you think the social protocol for charging an electric vehicle with someone's electricity should be? Should we really treat this any differently than someone plugging their iPhone into a public outlet for a quick boost? Do you think an electric car owner should be able to just walk up to an outlet in a public area and plug their car in without permission? Is that really an offense that someone deserves spending a night in jail for, especially for such a minuscule amount?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Read the original news article here: Nissan Leaf owner arrested for taking 5 cents of energy without asking