Programmable charge cord lock

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by insightman, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting (and unique?) feature described in MINI's press release dated October 28, 2019:
    > The MINI Cooper SE also includes a programmable
    > locking feature that can prevent the charge cord
    > from being unplugged when charging and can
    > automatically unlock when fully charged to allow
    > others needing charge access to the charger.

    [Below, I refer to the "charger" as an EVSE, the acronym for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment.]

    This locking feature would prevent an unscrupulous EV driver from stealing the charging cord plugged into your MINI before charging is complete. However, because this locking feature may be unique to the MINI, would you have to post a sign to alert miscreants that the charging connector cannot be removed so they won't damage things by trying? Or would the sign just anger someone who wants to appropriate your EVSE and lead them to purposely damage the connector and/or your MINI?

    "Hello, MINI? How long will it take to get a new charging connector for my SE and how much is this inconsiderate jerk gonna cost me?"

    If your sign explains that the cable may be unplugged after charging is complete, you would likely want to somehow indicate the anticipated time when charging will be complete. Telling the impatient driver of a discharged EV simply to wait until your MINI's charging LED goes out won't be deemed sufficient.

    The ChargePoint app includes a "Notify Me" feature that informs needy EV drivers when a public ChargePoint EVSE becomes available. Can the ChargePoint app or others, such as PlugShare, work with the MINI Cooper SE's programmable charge cord locking feature?

    I wonder what is "programmable" about this lock? Can it be programmed to allow removal at any time during charging (eg. no lock)? Can it be programmed to remain locked after charging is complete to protect one's personal charging cable? Can this feature be programmed to set off an alarm, such as beeping the horn, rather than locking the charging cord to the car? Such an option would prevent damage caused by a brute-force attempt to disconnect a locked charging cord. Just wishful thinking.

    MINI's app for this car will certainly be able to alert the owner when charging has terminated. Whether charging was terminated prematurely by a faulty EVSE or an EVSE thief, the owner will want to return to their car ASAP to effect a remedy. It will be interesting to see how useful and desirable this locking option turns out to be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  2. T.C.

    T.C. New Member

    It certainly isn't unique to Mini. My current BMW 330E does the same. Once the car is locked, the charging cord is locked to the car. My charging is almost all at home. so have never tried the locking or otherwise of the charge cable to the charging station elsewhere. Do they auto lock whilst charging and unlock if they detect full charge?
    This being my first step into electric drive vehicles, I had assumed that they all locked the charge cable to the car once the vehicle was locked. Otherwise the £140+ charge cable would be very vulnerable to theft, when plugged into public charging facilities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Our Honda Clarity PHEV has no such locking option. Perhaps it's unique to BMW (who, of course, owns MINI). Is the BMW 330E's locking feature programmable? I couldn't find an online PDF of the Owners Manual to read about it.

    The MINI press release says "can prevent the charge cord from being unplugged when charging and can automatically unlock when fully charged to allow others needing charge access to the charger." So, yes, the MINI feature can unlock after charging is complete, but perhaps it can be programmed to stay locked until the car is unlocked, regardless of charge.
     

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