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Be careful where you charge your electric car

Posting in Technology
Sometimes when new technology enters into the public realm it faces legal challenges that weren't imagined before the technology existed. Can you wear Google Glass, if they're off, while you're driving? Who will be liable when a driverless car crashes? And, in Georgia, is it legal to draw electricity from a public school for your electric car? 

One man in Chamblee, Georgia quickly found out that the answer to that last question is, apparently, no.

The local NBC affiliate in Atlanta reports today that Kaveh Kamooneh was recently charged for theft after he reportedly charged his Nissan Leaf for 20 minutes in an open electrical socket outside his son's public middle school while his son was playing tennis. The electricity, worth an estimated 5 cents, cost Kamooneh 15 hours in jail. 

"I'm not sure how much electricity he stole," Chamblee police Sergeant Ernesto Ford told NBC Channel 11. "He broke the law. He stole something that wasn't his."

Harsh. (I'll definitely think twice before plugging in anything in public.)

To date, in the U.S., more than 150,000 plug-in electric cars have been sold -- just a fraction of Volkswagen's latest recall. The latest estimates show that there are only about 64,000 public EV charging stations, worldwide. That number, including fast charging stations, will only grow as more people turn to electric cars. But, for now, access to EV charging stations is pretty poor leading to situations like the one in Georgia. 

For now, you can stay out of jail by checking this site to find the nearest public EV charging station. 

Read more: NBC Channel 11


Photo: Flickr/Falk Lademann

— By on December 4, 2013, 11:39 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure