Electric car owners warned of criminals stealing and cutting EV charging cables forcing major changes

InstaVolt electric car charger

Instavolt have introduced new safety measures to protect its cables

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 28/05/2024

- 13:50

'It’s not just the thieves we’re after, but also the scrap dealers who are handling this stolen product'

One of the UK's largest electric vehicle charging networks has introduced major changes after a spate of "cable-cutting incidents".

In recent months, InstaVolt has dealt with situations where people are cutting EV charging cables, with experts suggesting the copper inside the cable is attracting criminals.

To deal with the spate of attacks on its network, InstaVolt said it was boosting security with CCTV, patrols and tracking devices to protect its products.

Following the incidents, InstaVolt has upgraded security across the affected sites, the majority of which were in the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by emailingmotoring@gbnews.uk

An electric car chargerInstavolt has the highest number of rapid or ultra-rapid chargers PA

InstaVolt has consistently stated its aim is to ensure more than 99 per cent uptime across its network to boost confidence in the network for electric car drivers.

The new security measures also include the use of SmartWater technology, which uses traceable liquid to pin criminals to the scene of a crime using the smallest speck of liquid.

SmartWater is now frequently used to protect vehicles with catalytic converters which have become a popular target for criminals looking to sell the precious materials inside.

According to data from Zapmap, InstaVolt is the 11th largest charging network in the UK, with around 1,560 devices.

The chargepoint operator has seen more than 20 electric vehicle charging sites targeted by gangs since November last year, with CEO Delvin Lane noting particular activity in the Midlands and Yorkshire.

He added: "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.”

Experts have predicted that the cost of cable cutting is "running into hundreds of thousands of pounds" for the EV charging industry.

InstaVolt has the largest market share of ultra-rapid chargers in the UK, narrowly beating out the Tesla Supercharger network and BP Pulse.

It makes up more than 10 per cent of the UK's total number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, with the UK having around 12,000 faster chargers.

Lane continued, saying: "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.


InstaVolt electric car charger

Experts estimate that the damage has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds


"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.”

You may like