For all the upsides that zero-emissions motoring brings, charging them is still the biggest drawback. From the range anxiety in less than ideal conditions, to finding working charging stations on the route you’re on, EV charging can be quite the can of worms. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s always the chance that when you finally get to a charging station and juice up, you may not be able to disconnect the charging cable when you’re done.
It’s a lot more common than one would think, going by the number of reports of owners stuck tethered to a charging station. Because when you can’t unplug your EV from the charger even once the charging has been stopped, you risk significant damage to your EV and public property if you try to drive away with it still attached.
There are a few easy ways to remove a stuck charging cable from an EV, and one fix to definitely help you unplug a stubborn charging cable when all else fails.
Why Does An EV Charging Cable Get Stuck?
Whether you’re in the latest Tesla or an older Nissan Leaf, the curse of the stuck charge cable can strike at any time. This applies to Type 1/Type 2 connectors across any charging point network. It really does seem like anyone can fall prey to this common issue.
EV chargers have in-built locking mechanisms on the charging gun itself to prevent disconnections of the charger while it’s still charging. This is a very necessary safety measure considering the high voltage flowing through the charger into an EV’s battery. It’s also put in place to prevent any unauthorized removal of the charger – you wouldn’t want someone to unplug your EV while you’re away grabbing a bite to eat, only to come back and find your charging session interrupted.
This is to be expected considering the high standards in safety for EVs to adhere to. But the issue of the charging cable getting stuck even after a charge has been completed or stopped manually is the real problem. This could be down to a failing safety lock mechanism, or debris in the unit. It’s also commonly caused by failing actuators in the socket in the case of systems that rely on the electronics to decide when it’s safe to release the charging cable. These issues can affect the car’s charging socket, as well as the charging station cable. But it’s not the end of the world, as there are a few ways to get your EV’s charge cable unstuck.
Easy Steps To Try To Remove A Stuck EV Charge Cable
Have you tried locking your EV and unlocking it again? The first step to troubleshooting this issue can sometimes be as simple as the painfully obvious step of locking/unlocking via your key fob a few times to try and force the EV charger to disconnect.
If this doesn’t work, you could try to restart and stop a charging session again via the app of your choice. This helps force a stop to the charging process, if the previous session had been terminated incorrectly thus leading to the issue in the first place. It could take a few tries, but it has been proven to work. Another method worth trying is forcefully pushing in the charger cable, and then trying to pull it out.
You could also try contacting the charge service provider to troubleshoot the issue. If the charging station you’re at has attendants who can help, they most likely would have dealt with a similar issue on a similar vehicle so they might have a solution you can use to get unstuck. But before you do that, there is a simple trick to make sure you can fix a stuck charging cable.
The Secret Trick To Detaching A Stuck Charging Cable
All EVs are designed with a failsafe for this very situation. The manual cable release switch is your best option to deal with a stuck charging cable. And all it takes for you to use it is a quick web search to figure out where the charge port lock release is located in your vehicle.
On most vehicles it’ll be in a place where it can’t be accessed by just anyone walking by, so it pays to look up your particular vehicle to figure out where the manual release switch is. Most times expect this switch to be near the charge port, so if your charge port is at the rear of the car it may be behind the rear seat, or in the wheel well. Some vehicles with a charge port up front have it situated under the hood, visible as a pull tab. Armed with this information, a stuck charging cable on your EV should be a thing of the past.