Pickup truck owners with an apparent grudge against Tesla or its customers have found a way to harass drivers of their electric vehicles.
A number of news outlets are reporting incidents in which pickups are parked in front of Tesla Supercharger stations, preventing car owners from refueling. The practice is called “ICE-ing,” in reference to the internal combustion engine, and it appears to be a way for truck owners to poke fun at the environmental sentiments behind electric vehicle ownership.
“These guys parked in a Tesla charging spot with their gas (or diesel) truck, unhooked the charge cable, and laid it into their truck bed for ‘comedic’ effect,” Freckletan, who took the photo at the top of this post, wrote at Reddit. “… The only harm done is the fact they are taking up a spot for an unknown amount of time that a Tesla could use to charge. It would be the equivalent of a Tesla parking at a fuel pump at a gas station and walking away.”
How widespread is the practice? That’s hard to say, but an article at E&E News described similar incidents in a handful of states, including Texas, South Carolina, and Delaware.
In Delaware, an RV was parked perpendicular to five Tesla charging stations, blocking access to all of them. In Texas, two oversized pickups had parked in front of at least four chargers. In the text that went with the photo, the owner of a Tesla who was trying to recharge the batteries in his car said he called police but eventually squeezed close enough to refuel.
“I rode up on the curb and did a 12 point turn between the truck and another vehicle with about 1 inch to spare on either side to connect,” the driver said. “We had to hit the road to get home, but I wish I could have seen the fallout.”
Dan Becker, the executive director of the Safe Climate Campaign, called the practice “mean and stupid,” E&E reported.
“Does it insult their manhood that they pollute more and therefore they want to attack vehicles that pollute less?” he asked. “I don’t understand their motivation.”
At the website Teslarati, Simon Alvarez described the problem and posted a link to a video showing how a Tesla Model X is capable of towing a Chevrolet Silverado pickup out of the way. “Spread the word that you really can’t stop a Tesla from getting to a Supercharger,” video blogger Patrick says. “If people really wanted to, they could moving anything.
Tesla drivers also have complained of “rolling coal,” where diesel pickups have been modified to pump excess fuel into the engine, which produces a blast of black smoke. It’s not just Teslas that get the extra attention. As the video above shows, Prius owners also have been given some unwelcome attention.