Tips for securely slow charging?

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Aug 27, 2020
I picked up a 2015 SEL this week, but I don't have many options to actually charge it. I figure it'll be kind of an adventure. I live in a townhouse with assigned parking spaces about twenty feet outside my front door, so fast charging is not a realistic option at home. There are chargers at work but our office is closed until at least early 2021 so I'll be slow charging via extension cord for the foreseeable future. I'm hoping to be able to plug in at night but we've had some vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood, and I don't trust leaving the travel charger pack outside without some kids messing with it at night. Is it possible to leave the travel pack inside the trunk/boot and run the plug through the hatch to the charge port? Is there something built in to the car to accommodate this? I'd just much prefer to charge at night than during the day for cost/heat considerations, but I'd need a little more security.

Also any other tips from people who have made it work with slow charging would be welcome.
Be sure your extension cord is rated for 15 amps continuous and the trickle EVSE 120 V plug /receptacle on extension cord is protected from rain.

I suppose you could leave the EVSE in the boot, and while the EVSE does get warm, I don't think it gets warm enough to be a hazard, but you would have to evaluate this. I suspect over time you will damage the hatch weatherstripping and/or the EVSE wires when you close the hatch on the wires. If you keep the EVSE in the shade (for example, under the rear hatch on the ground) during the day, I think it will operate just fine.

I think you could perform a web search to see about other security options, like locking to your wheel, crafting a device so you park one wheel (without damage) over the cable, etc.

Best of luck!
I don't know if you've already considered this, but your E-golf does lock your charger into place at the port, unlike other EV's, so I don't think anyone could steal your EVSE (without breaking your car). Your extension cord I suppose could get snatched up.
The 2015 models came with a EVSE charger that will pull 13.3 amps. Please, at a minimum, use an extension cord, if 25 feet or less, of 12 gauge, 20 amp capable wire. If 50 feet or longer, use an extension cord of at least 10 gauge wire.

If the plugs or extension cord are getting warm or hot, you're not using heavy enough wire of the proper gauge, and you are creating a fire hazard to you, your property and your car. Play it safe, too much is waaay better than too little wire gauge on your extension cord. Read your owner's manual, VW does NOT recommend using extension cords, for this very reason.

This also applies to the outlet you are using, it should be at least a 20 amp rated outlet. A 20 amp outlet has a "T" on one of the portions of the plug, and looks like this.
Speaking from personal experience, I strongly recommend against leaving the portable charger in the trunk.

You may be OK if you do it occasionally with proper precautions, but it's not a good long-term solution. There's nothing built into the car to accommodate this.

When I got my 2016 eGolf, I was worried about the Level 1 charger getting stolen so I did exactly what you propose: I left the Level 1 charger in the trunk, ran an extension cord into the trunk, and closed the rear hatch over the wires.

I started with a 14-gauge extension cord. It was quickly obvious by the plug getting hot that the cord was not thick enough. I switched to a 12-gauge cord and was fine after that.

The first time it rained hard, the seal on the rear hatch leaked and I had a couple of inches of water in my rear seat wells. I've found that having something even as thin as a leaf caught in the rear hatch seals is enough to let water in.

The portable charger would get hot to the touch when in the trunk, and over time the plug began to melt. After that I shelled out $300 for a new portable charger and never left it in the trunk again.

As others have said, on the 2015 SEL the plug locks to the car so the charger can't actually be stolen. However it's certainly possible that you can get some expensive damage by someone attempting to steal it.

So in your situation, what you'll want to do is:
- use a 12-gauge extension cord or thicker. Remember in this case that lower numbers are better. A 10-gauge cord is fine, a 14-gauge cord is a hazard.
- Leave the Level 1 charger outside of the car. If you have the same black Delphi portable charger that I had with my 2016, know that it runs hot under normal operation and dangerously hot if left in the trunk. My 2019 came with a white charger that runs cool so it doesn't have the same problem, but I still leave it outside the car.
- I now hide the charger out of sight behind the wheel. So far after several years I've been fine. Because the 2015 SEL plug locks to the car, you may just want some obvious visual way to show potential thieves that it's locked. As f1geek suggests, that could be a cable lock wrapped around your wheel spoke, or maybe a magnetic weather guard that hides the plug from view, or maybe there's a piece of wood nearby where you could screw a metal loop and lock your cable to that.
I think a low tech solution like what f1geek suggested would be effective and easy. You could secure the charge cable to a piece of wood with an electrical conduit mountI got bracket using torx screws or some other security or non standard screw, then park the car on the wood. I’m thinking a piece of 3/4 Plywood would be easy to roll the tire onto and not deform it like a 2 x 4 might. Sure, a thief could still rip your security system apart but that would take some effort, tools and make noise. Another thought is to loop a big padlock around the cord and something secuse nearby - maybe some hardware you attach to a fence or garage door.