Model S charges for free in China’s countryside, Tesla doesn’t like it

Picture courtesy

Picture courtesy

The owner of a Tesla Model S was caught stealing power in the Chinese countryside near Chengdu, Carnewschina reports. Someone had climbed up the utility pole, clipped wires on the line, ran them to a jury-rigged transformer, and other Rube Goldberg-style installations, until a Model S received its juice without the owners receiving a utility bill.

The pictures hit China’s Twitter copy Weibo, and they caused quite a ruckus. Even Tesla thought it was necessary to chime in, and the company did so with this notice:

Privately sourced high voltage electric power cannot be properly regulated. The transformation is very dangerous. I hope that [the owner] pays attention to electrical safety. If there are any charging-related issues, please contact Tesla Technical Support: 400-910-0707.”

Tesla has 59 Supercharger stations in China, four of those in Chengdu. None of them apparently was close enough to serve the poor Chinese farmer who could afford a $103.450 – $151.600 Model S.