Pickup drivers target Tesla Superchargers in “ICEing” incidents

Dodge flatbed blocking a Tesla Supercharger in Tennessee, fake charging [CREDIT: freckletan, Reddit]

People are jealous of things they can’t (or don’t) have.

In a spate of incidents reminiscent of “rolling coal,” truck drivers have begun seemingly intentionally blocking whole banks of Tesla Superchargers across parts of the South.

Trucks blocking Tesla Supercharing station at Sheets in Hickory, N.C. [CREDIT: Leicina, Reddit]

Photos shared across Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit over the weekend showed all kinds of trucks blocking Superchargers, from small pickups to big semis. Some have termed it ICEing—a reference to the internal combustion engines under the hoods of the offending trucks.

The incidents occurred in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and even overseas.

In two cases, whole rows of trucks either pulled across whole rows of Superchargers or backed in to block several at a time.

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In two more cases, semi-trucks pulled across rows of Superchargers, blocking them, when other parking was available.

Another time a full-size quad-cab pickup with a fifth-wheel horse trailer did the same. 

One flat-bed pickup driver backed into a Supercharger spot and draped the cable onto his pickup bed so it would look like he was charging.

Trucks block Tesla Superchargers in at Hampton Inn, El Paso, Texas [CREDIT: RedfieldStandard, Reddit

So many incidents in a short period of time make it look like an organized campaign, though it’s not yet clear who might be behind it.

In the North Carolina case, the pickup drivers reportedly began yelling obscenities about Tesla. Tesla driver and Reddit user Leicina contacted a Sheetz employee, who got the drivers to move the trucks. “Who do you report activity like this to?” Leicina wrote. “It was really uncomfortable.”

In an incident in El Paso, Texas, police were called.

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Many cities have passed laws restricting parking at electric-car chargers, including Tesla Superchargers, to electric cars, or even to electric cars that are actively charging.

The incidents seem to reveal a growing hostility toward electric cars, or at least Teslas, as Tesla moves into more markets across the country.

President Trump has taken issue with electric cars from General Motors after the company laid off 15,000 workers and announced the closing of five factories, including the one that makes the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. “All-electric is not going to work,” he tweeted.

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And he has promised his constituents that he will save the coal industry, which has not recovered, even as electric-car sales have expanded. 

It’s also possible that Teslas are being targeted specifically because they are expensive luxury cars and qualify for a large federal tax credit. That credit is shrinking by half for buyers who take delivery after Monday, however. Tesla owns its Superchargers. They are not a government endeavor.

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