Shoot-out at the EV charger: Three critically injured in Alabama conflict over charging time

This is the eleventh chapter of Insights from the Future. This is a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. Subscribe to my newsletter mailing list to keep in touch and get notified when the book publishes. Previously published at Medium.

August 17, 2025

Three Alabama men are in hospital today after a woman opened fire at an electric vehicle charging station in the Walmart parking lot in Bessemer, Alabama. Two are in stable condition while a third remains critical, doctors said.

According to early police reports, the woman was upset by how long the men were taking to charge their Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.

Her own electric car, a Chevy Bolt, was critically low and needed a charge to get home, but the men were still charging their vehicles. An SUV with an internal combustion engine was blocking the second charging station.

“It happens all the time,” a bystander told local reporters. “The rule is that you can charge for one hour only, and only while you’re shopping. Those guys were on their third hour, and basically just tailgating and drinking beer until their car was fully charged.”

“Which doesn’t mean it was right to shoot them, of course.”

According to the Pew Research Center, electric charging shootings have jumped 1300% in the last three years. The problem is simple: under-supply and over-demand.

“Electric vehicle sales have spiked 10 times in the last year as gas prices have continued to rise,” Pew analyst Alexandria Justice said today. “That means that home charger installers can’t keep up, and people are forced to charge at public stations.”

With competition increasing, some take longer than the stated allowable charging times, leading to conflicts. In one case, a Tesla pickup truck spent seven hours in a shopping center charging slot, leading frustrated EV owners to take matters into their own hands and vandalize the vehicle.

“When you add guns to the mix of impatience, frustration, and range anxiety, bad things happen,” Justice said.”

Police have a suspect in custody. The woman allegedly shot at the tailgating Leaf owners 17 times, hitting all three men multiple times.

Bail has not been set.

Alabama governor Mitch Jones promised to build more EV chargers as quickly as possible, saying that additional level one chargers are needed, which can charge an electric vehicle to full in just 20 minutes.

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