I don’t have an electric car (yet) and mainly because I worry about finding charging stations when going on road trips. However, living in California, I realize that eventually, we will all be driving electric cars since Governor Newsom recently signed a bill that “will aggressively move the state further away from its reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels while retaining and creating jobs and spurring economic growth – he issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.” RELATED: 9 Ways to Save Money on Gas

I love the idea of cutting our emissions and reliance on fossil fuels so I’m all in favor of this but after reading a post on our local NextDoor page, I’ve come to realize the potential for a new kind of egregious behavior, which is bound to lead to all sorts of altercations.

Imagine you’re charging your electric car at a charging station while you’re shopping and someone unplugs the cable to charge their own car. That’s what happened to someone who shared a video on NextDoor with the caption: “Unbelievable!!! While I was at Kohl’s, this lady unplugged charging cable from my car and plugged into her car. She is so ? rude!”

This isn’t the first time this has happened. A video from 2020 went viral when another woman did the same thing:

YouTube video

According to the person who posted that video: “Woman unplugs charger from Tesla Model 3 for her own EV in Blackhawk Plaza, Danville, CA, January 12, 2020. She grabs charger out of Tesla Model 3 which had only charged for 15 minutes. Not nice, lady! Caught on Tesla Cam Sentry! (Her two young girls and husband were watching as she demonstrates her selfishness. I do not show the family in the video.) I was using the Tesla charger adapter which did not lock into the charger cord. She tried jiggling a plug out of another car before she came upon mine. The great majority of people in this area are very polite. Not Mrs. Unplug!”

Now, in both of these situations, if someone is charging their car for hours and their battery is fully charged, then I can understand someone else taking the charger out. Do Teslas have some kind of indicator on the exterior of the vehicle where someone can see if the car is fully charged or not? If yes, then I think it’s fine what these women did, as it’s kind of like when you go to a laundromat or are doing laundry on a cruise ship and someone leaves their wash in the machine or dryer for way too long after it’s done. It’s only fair for the next person to place the other person’s laundry in a basket so it doesn’t hold everyone else up from doing theirs.

However, if there’s no way to tell that the car is fully charged, then these actions are just plain rude, as I’m sure most people would agree. Plus, imagine you have to go somewhere and you think your car is fully charged and come out to find that it’s not. If I had to do something important, like pick up my kids, I would be pretty steamed.

One thing is for sure: it’s pretty darn cool that Teslas can record video like this while you’re not in your car. And hopefully that’s a deterrent for bad behavior because who wants to get caught on video (and then go viral!) for doing this?


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26 Comments On "RUDE: Woman Unplugs Charging Cable From Tesla to Charge Her Own Car - Is This Going to Be a Thing?"
  1. Michael Gerhardt|

    Entitled idiots, looking out only for themselves- smackdowns do seem in order?

  2. PSNet Distribution|

    An easy solution to this problem for people who leave their cars unattended while charging in public would be to create a locking device that prevents the charger from being unplugged without a key. I’m sort of surprised these aren’t already sold at ever advanced auto and auto zone in the country.

  3. Christopher Lee Rose|

    Alright. What this woman did is theft. Somebody paid to charge their vehicle and she had the audacity to pull the charger out of the vehicle and connect to her own. However, you seem to have failed basic electricity in the process. Electric vehicles are not the magic bullet to curb pollution that everyone is being misled to believe. They could be part of the solution, but they are not the solution. The real issue is power generation. Pretty much every energy source we have at our disposal has a high carbon footprint. The only viable and available energy source that doesn’t is nuclear, but it gets regularly misrepresented by many ecological fringe groups. However, there is also the problem of infrastructure. The current electrical infrastructure here in the United States is already woefully out of date and quite susceptible to EMP attack and solar flare events. It is not without cause that there is concern regarding the potential for another Carrington level event, possibly during our current solar cycle. Add to that existing fact the amount of electricity needed to power all these electric cars would be significantly higher than what the infrastructure can currently handle, and now you have a scenario where rolling blackouts become a commonplace event, which is already a problem in parts of California. As states force more people to surrender their petroleum powered vehicles for electrics, you will see more instances like the woman in this video, as well as the electrical issues I have mentioned here. Note that I am not alone in my concern. Please do yourself a favor and do some extra research into this. Unfortunately, even if the infrastructure is upgraded and we can switch over to fully nuclear power, there will still be problems. Not just electricity theft like in this video, but there is only a limited amount of the materials necessary for those batteries, and they aren’t necessarily recyclable.

  4. Friagram|

    Lots of information lacking here. You can lock the charging port so that the charger can’t be removed from your car. Even then, you aren’t supposed to just leave your car charging without supervising it in a public place. Fast charging works in such a way that you get 70% of the charge in the first 1/3 of the charging cycle. A tesla supercharger will do 200 miles in 15 minutes. The model 3 will get a good 150-175 in about 15 minutes.

    This person carefully removes the charger and closes the other person’s hatch. They probably just needed to top off and no other chargers were free. What should they do? Wait an hour or 2 for the other person to return, or drive to another station and possibly get stranded?

    EVs are a joke and won’t be here to stay. Hydrogen is already dead and being phased out. The combustion engine is far more efficient since fuel weighs about 1/10th in gas for battery. The hybrid vehicle is going to be the new norm soon.

    And then there is the whole issue of Tesla drivers in general. Pretty common for them to be snobby and have a “better than you” attitude. They constantly park in vanpool/hov areas for busses and RVs because they have clean air decals, which is silly. They park and stay at charging lots while at work or during long hotel stays without moving their cars. And let’s not even begin about the autonomous driving while putting on makeup and shit. I see it all the time living here in CA.

  5. Donald L Reppert|

    This sounds pretty bogus to me. I have owned two Tesla and charged a numerous public charging stations. One you begin charging, the charging cable and charging port are locked together and cannot be separated with unlocking the charging port with a fob or smartphone. Simply stated, you can’t unplug someone else’s Tesla.

  6. Procompmt|

    I find this entire situation extremely amusing. Some here have very valid points but unfortunately, until the elite investors take every last cent they can from the ignorant, they’re stuck with these situations. They ask for it, unfortunately we’re all going to pay for it. Far too many people don’t do enough, or any, research, or look at various scenarios prior to implementing actions. They believe everything that big brother tells them. Use the last 3 years for an example. Sad, but these are the days we’re living in. Try to find a reason to laugh at some of it, we need it.

  7. momboyzx3|

    I agree with all the CON statements here. It’s ok for USA’s government to make people vest into these electric vehicles without the infrastructure to support them. Or the necessary mechanics to care for them.

    When we are the ONLY COUNTRY making these changes? It makes little common sense to me.

  8. Jay|

    Lots of disinformation in the comments. EV’s are too much for the grid to handle? When they charge at night – like most EV owners do, there’s little-to-no effect on the grid.
    ICE vehicles more efficient than EV’s? Think again. Yes, batteries weigh more than gasoline, but that’s 2% of the argument, and not even a relevant one. Internal combustion engines are 30-35% efficient in that they put off a lot more heat than power to the wheels. EV’s? 90-95% efficient.
    Batteries in landfills? That’s not where they end up. They’re highly recyclable.

    When charging at Tesla superchargers, an electric lock keeps people like this woman from disconnecting the cord from the car. Only the Tesla owner can disconnect. And yeah, people often plug in and walk away. That’s not a bad thing. What IS a bad thing is leaving your EV plugged in after charging is finished. To discourage that, Tesla puts in place “idle charging fees” at Tesla superchargers, depending on how busy the supercharger is. If you want to plug in, grab a bite, use the restroom, nothing wrong with that.

    So, how was this woman able to remove the charging cord from this Tesla? The car wasn’t connected to a Tesla Supercharger. Non-Tesla chargers usually require an adapter to plug their different-connector into a Tesla. That’s an ongoing debate/challenge because the adapter doesn’t have a lock. However, there IS an aftermarket locking device available. Don’t know if it’s yet available from AutoZone or the like.

    Tesla drivers being “better than you”? Let’s not paint all Tesla drivers with that broad brush.

    Lastly, Teslas have 8 external cameras and monitor all activity external to the car. This is why you see more and more videos of miscreants like this woman caught on camera. Aside from the moral wrong of inflicting damage on someone else’s property, today one needs to consider that there are cameras EVERYWHERE. If you’re ethically challenged, you’re going to end up on video.
    Seems like it isn’t a risk worth taking.

  9. Ed|

    Jay, THANKS for saving me a bunch of typing. Your comment is spot on and accurate. EV’s are a great alternative powered vehicle and Tesla has definitely done their homework. People shouldn’t hate Teslas simply because they hate Musk either. I hate that Teslas’ background work is quickly being pushed to the background while the major auto builders are coming out with their new EVs and trying to paint a picture that they did all the R&D on EV products.
    Americans need to learn to think and research on their own instead of following the social media voices. We ridiculed Prius owners for having battery powered matchbox cars and now we call Tesla owners snobs. Jealousy runs deep in this country.

  10. Myron|

    I own two” Legacy ” EV’ s from 2011 and 2012. One has a 65 Mile range and the other has a 35 mile range,on an ‘Ideal’ day,(moderate temp, no hills, Etc.)

    That said, I have a little animosity To Owners of Tesla’s as they typically have 250+ Miles on full charge. If a Tesla owner charges just to ‘Top it off’ and I NEED the charge to get home, I could see the rational to “Grab a charge” , as the Tesla owner probably has enough to get home or to get to the next Supercharger….it would definitely be tempting to grab the plug just so I could make it home….just sayin’

  11. JAY|


  12. JAY|


  13. David|

    No, we will not all be driving battery powered cars in the future, I wil maintain my ICE cars and trucks as long as i’m alive anyway. Switching to this mode of battery power will prove to be one of the biggest environmental disasters that North America and Europe has experienced. it wil require the mining and deforestation of areas that most likely are in undeveloped areas of the world and change pristine areas into mines that are disasters. Example, look at the copper mines remnants in Butte Montana, now a superfund site. This will occur over and over again, trying to fine lithium, nickel, manganese and so on. The cost of mining and using equipment, rails, trucks way outweighs the value received, environmentally. And the State of California is actually promoting this disaster.

  14. Fausto Coppi|

    just ride a bicycle.
    ?whatsamatterforyouhuh? lazy?

  15. Anonymous|

    Maybe the person charging the car left it unattended for awhile and the car was done charging.

  16. Jax|

    I’m tickled reading all the nay-sayers complaining about how the change to EV will be disastrous on the environment. I’m sure, if you could go back in time when automobiles first came on the scene, people were complaining how the automobile was going to ruin the environment and the family unit. All the negativity that comes out of their minds when they don’t understand positive thinking. I’d like to think we have learned from our past mistakes and more care will be taken in obtaining the elements necessary to make the batteries for the EV where we restore the scar to how it was before we opened it. We show respect for the land it came out of that way.

    This woman who removed the nozzle is just low-class. Now the world knows this and I hope she sees it as a teachable moment.

  17. MR. G|


  18. Mark|

    Good lord no. The US is not even close. We’re lagging way behind the rest of the developed world in EV adoption. Where have you been?

  19. M|

    I don’t know much about EVs as it will be some time until they reach my small town. I wasn’t aware though, that there was no cost to charge them! I had assumed there would be a fee to plug in and in that likely case, this isn’t just rude, it’s theft! I also think there should be a locking mechanism to prevent this.

  20. Sick of Karens|

    I’ve never hit a woman. Behavior like this if it was my vehicle would most likely change that. And is her husband sitting in the car didn’t like it, when her husband gets out, beat his @$$ too.

  21. Michael|

    What do you think happens with oil drilling and fracking Jay?

  22. Deborah|

    Charges can be locked to your car. It is charging etiquette to set a switch that allows another user to remove the cord when the original car is fully charged to charge their own. All the manuals state this as charging etiquette. However, I would never remove someone’s charger, as people fly off the handle so easily I would be afraid of being attacked. That being said, some people leave notes on their EV stating to remove the charger for others use when my car is fully charged.

  23. ssmall1@tampabay.rr.com|

    Just chop the head off her cord and leave.

  24. Cindy|

    We may be jumping to conclusions. While it “appears” rude, Maybe the car was finished charging and the lady in the photo was waiting patiently in her car for the person to come back so she could charge her car? We don’t know how long she may have waited (the owner said she went into Kohls…. Shopping isn’t typically a quick trip this time of year). She probably got tired of waiting and took matters in her own hands. As far as people saying she was “stealing” someone’s electricity… many places have FREE charging stations as a courtesy to their customers. NOW …. If neither of these situations is true, then I agree, it was rude and if the first person put her credit card in the station to charge her vehicle then it WAS stealing, as well. Reminds me of waiting in line at a gas station and the person goes into the gas station without MOVING THEIR CAR FIRST. Then comes out 10 min later with a bag of food! ☹️

  25. Bone|

    I don’t use TESLA chargers, but CCS chargers clearly show if charging is currently underway or it has stopped.

  26. Anonymous|

    Why can’t there be a mediator to stop sensationalism about false presentations such as this one.


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