Your EV Won’t Release a Plugged-In Charging Cable Unless You First Unlock Your Electric Car

Charging concerns is one of the challenges that come with owning an EV. Sometimes the charging cable can lock and won’t disconnect when finished charging. So, it would be helpful to know how to properly charge an electric vehicle and the possible chargers you might encounter, so you don’t panic should your charger get stuck in an EV charging station.

How to properly charge an electric vehicle

A Tesla charging at an EV charging station for Tesla with a brick building behind it.
Tesla EV charging | Getty Images

Pod-point advises electric car owners to map out the places they are likely to stop while going to regular destinations such as homes or workplaces and use the charge points installed in these areas. You are less likely to encounter plugging difficulties in familiar charging stations that have previously proved suitable for your EV.

You can also avoid stops at charging stations you are unaccustomed to by conserving the energy in your battery. Green Cars point out that driving slower minimizes energy usage. Therefore, you should keep off the accelerator to increase your Ev’s battery life.

Also, most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which work more effectively if charged to approximately 80% rather than to full charge. Not charging to full capacity allows space for regenerative braking to convert kinetic energy into usable energy if your battery has enough capacity.

It is also advisable to leave your vehicle plugged in if you plan to be out for town and your EV is just sitting in the garage. However, set the charge at around 50% to avoid overcharging while you are away.

It would be best if you also searched for a shady spot when parking on a hot day to protect your battery from overheating and draining.

Also, avoid deep discharging. If your battery drains to near the 30% mark, ensure that you plug in your charger. Time your charger to avoid charging your battery for too long. Set at least an hour or two before leaving your home in the morning.

How a vehicle locks in a charging cable

The charging cable automatically locks 90 seconds after the car has been unlocked. This automatic locking occurs when packing or charging your vehicle and is meant for security purposes. Like all cars, EVs come with accessories, and the most significant of these is the portable electric car charging cable.

Charging cables are highly vulnerable to theft, and electric cables tend to lock to ensure security and, at the same time, facilitate preconditioning and increase the range for electric operation.

Unlocking your charging cable is easy. You have to unlock the vehicle again using the remote control key. In cars with keyless entry, you can lock and unlock using the handle.

Alternative solutions if unlocking the car fails 

When you find it hard to remove your EV charging cable by unlocking it, don’t panic. Instead, contact customer service if you are charging in public using the number listed on the charging station. If all else fails, you could try your user manual to access the override system to unlock the charging handle.

Electric cars like the 2022 Tesla model have an easy grab loop in the trunk area near the charging port, which you can pull to free the charger.

All modern vehicles are developed with some form of GM’s OnStar. Usually, there is a button for SOS and one for client assistance. If none of these options work call roadside assistance. Every new car comes with a roadside assistance plan at no extra cost. Make use of them.

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