Many automakers are making a bigger effort to include electric cars in their lineups, but Tesla is well-known for being the first. Founded by a pair of engineers in 2003, it has produced popular cars like the Model 3 and Model S. In fact, Tesla vehicles are the best-selling EVs in the world.
The cars have gotten so popular that you can find Tesla supercharging stations in parking lots across the country. However, not everyone is a fan of these cars. Some pickup truck owners have started to show their disdain for Tesla cars in a weird way: ICE-ing.
What is ICE-ing?
The acronym “ICE” comes from the internal combustion engine on gasoline-powered vehicles. ICE-ing refers to parking in spots with Tesla superchargers to block electric vehicles. Any car that’s not a Tesla has ICE-ing potential, but pickup trucks are the most common offenders.
In general, ICE-ing is seen as obnoxious by the public since it’s a pretty pointless protest. It’s not like having their parking space stolen i going to make Tesla owners stop driving their cars.
A similar (and arguably more cringe-inducing) practice for anti-environmentalists involves modifying their car’s diesel engine so that it produces large clouds of exhaust smoke. Called “rolling coal,” it’s mostly used to blow gas on Prius cars and other EVs, but you can find many videos online of drivers smoking out cyclists, pedestrians, and even police officers.
Modifying your engine for rolling coal is expensive, but it’s also illegal in some states. Eleven states have introduced bills explicitly banning the activity, including Utah, Colorado, and New York. In Texas, vehicles are not allowed to produce visible smoke for longer than 10 seconds. A first offense will cost the driver $350 and $1,000 for two or more.
Is ICE-ing illegal?
Just like rolling coal, drivers who park in Tesla spaces with gasoline-powered vehicles will likely be served with a fine or have their vehicle towed. So far, it’s illegal in five states: California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. If the trend continues, more states are expected to put their own laws and ordinances into effect.
Why are people doing it?
It seems like most drivers who participate in ICE-ing are doing it to show their disdain of EVs, the smugness of the drivers, and possibly the controversial Tesla president. Even though the practice is annoying and immature, it’s not doing any harm to people who aren’t Tesla owners.
Rolling coal is another story. Drivers of these souped-up trucks have made it clear that their goal is to irritate environmentalists and express their annoyance at stricter emissions laws. This is obvious by the way they proudly tote their car’s smoke as “Prius repellent.” However, there’s a reason for emissions requirements: The excessive black smoke produced by these modified trucks is awful for the environment, whether the driver believes it or not.
While it hasn’t made its way stateside yet, Tesla has implemented a new solution for ICE-ing in China and Taiwan. A metal hurdle is built into the parking space and can only be unlocked using a unique QR code. However, the bar on this hurdle is only about a foot high, so it would definitely have to be modified to deter offenders in pickup trucks. It may not stop hardcore Tesla haters, but it would definitely cut down the ICE-ing.