Ford Focus Electric Unplugged by CODA Rep

In an apparent case of confusion in California recently, a CODA rep accidentally unplugged a Ford Focus Electric that was being tested by the member of the media.

Forbes staff member Todd Woody had stopped to recharge the Focus in Berkley, California and was at a nearby café when his phone buzzed. The Focus Electric’s charging had been interrupted, causing Woody to investigate.

Upon returning to the vehicle, he noticed that the charging cord had been disconnected and was plugged into a CODA sedan instead. For Woody it was the latest in a string of incidents that have made charging EVs difficult and inconvenient.

“Twice in the past week I’ve rolled up to parking spots reserved for electric cars that were occupied by gas guzzlers,” he said. In one of them he cited an apparently ignorant BMW owner who’d parked their car in the spot, so it blocked access to the charger; this in an otherwise largely deserted parking lot.

As for the CODA incident, the car in question belonged to the manufacturer and a day after Woody voiced or rather tweeted his displeasure to CODA, a tweet appeared on CODA’s official account, apparently originating from the rep in question. It said, “didn’t mean to cause any harm @CODASV must’ve been in a pinch. #needmorepublicharging.”

Woody had also been in a bit of a bind, since he’d originally stopped to charge the Focus because there was approximately just 12 miles worth of juice remaining on the battery. He said that if it hadn’t been for the phone notification, he would have stayed out, returning hours later to find that the car had not been charged.

Although CODA hasn’t issued an official statement regarding the matter, its corporate communications director Larkin Hill, did say that the company is looking into the incident to find out why the Focus was unplugged. Currently the reason cited is that the light on the charger was not on, leading the CODA rep to believe the Focus was not being charged. Nevertheless, Hill did say that “it is unacceptable to unplug someone if they’re charging; it’s disrespectful, dangerous and just plain rude.”

As more EVs take to the roads and more charging stations spring up, it’s likely we’ll here about more such incidents of charging rage. It will also be interesting to see if and how regulations develop to enforce public charging etiquette.

Forbes via Autoblog Green

  • Rob D

    A good solution would be for electric cars and charging stations to have a universal locking mechanism. The car would have a keyed univversal locking mechanism that would use the same key as the trunk or ignition key of the car and the charging stations would be set up to accept the universal locking mechanism.

  • James Davis

    Or Rod, a better solution would be to switch over to charging plates with a post that could accept credit cards. From what I hear, it is impossible to unplug a charging plate. Washington state has charging plates for their electric trollies and they just love them.

  • Eco Mipi

    First, this happened over a month ago. Second, everyone is glazing over the fact that this was 1. A public Charging station, and 2. Two Demo Cars. Basically no “real” electric car owners were harmed in this little drama fest. If the focus owner doesn’t want to get the car unplugged, perhaps he should pay a couple grand to get a charging station, and actually buy an electric car of his own.

  • dutchinchicago

    My car has never been unplugged but plenty of cases where an ICE car is blocking a charging station.