By on January 3, 2019

During my wayward youth in the Aughts/early this decade, a friend of mine decided it would be funny if he got me involved in a weird little bar game called “icing.” The idea of this game was to order your friend a Smirnoff Ice surreptitiously and/or hide it somewhere, and when he received the drink he must drop to one knee and chug it. There may be other variations to the game, but that’s all I recall.

Like many things that happened culturally during that decade, icing was quite stupid. Stupid as it was, it was also relatively harmless. The “iced” got a free drink out of it, even if it was a terrible vodka drink, and everyone else got a laugh. The late Aughts were such innocent times.

Fast-forward a decade and now there’s a new type of “icing” afoot, though it’s now called “ICE-ing.” It has nothing to do with booze, but it still involves bros.

Reports have surfaced that truck owners have been blocking Tesla superchargers to keep Tesla owners from charging. How widespread the issue is remains unclear – the most substantial report I’ve seen involves an incident in North Carolina. Some Tesla owners are even fighting back, via a tow rope.

But even if this isn’t happening on a large scale, it’s still shitty. Preventing an EV driver from charging could leave them stranded – which at best is an inconvenience and at worst puts someone in danger.

Yeah, I get it. These truck-owning bros behind the ICE-ing may have a good reason to dislike Tesla – it’s not like Elon Musk or the brand itself have endeared themselves to people. And many Tesla drivers are well-off, financially, so they may seem easy targets (I’m putting aside the fact that many of these bro-truckers dropped a pretty penny on aftermarket upgrades for their rig).

Except, being stranded sucks no matter how big your bank account is. All these drivers want to do is get some juice so that they can go about their day. Yet a few yokels are getting some jollies at blocking chargers because, what? They want to throw up a symbolic double middle-finger salute to federal fuel-economy regs, or smug Tesla drivers, or something?

I have no doubt some Tesla drivers are smug – we’ve seen them in the comments here at times. But smugness doesn’t deserve this B.S. Imagine how righteously pissed off the rest of us would be if EV drivers blocked gas pumps.

I’m no fan of rolling coal, either, but at least that’s a relatively harmless expression of stupidity. I don’t really get why you’d need to roll coal in the face of a Prius driver for the same reasons I don’t get why bros are ICE-ing folks, but at least that lousy show of your tiny manhood doesn’t really add much pollution in the aggregate, and it won’t leave someone stuck on the side of the road.

Here’s the thing. We all live in a society, and there’s a basic unwritten contract governing our public behavior. A part of the contract states, “don’t be a dick.” I realize I sound a bit like Costanza waiting for the pay phone at the Chinese restaurant (“you know, we’re living IN A SOCIETY!”) but nevertheless, it’s true. Regardless of whether I like Tesla or not, I have no reason to go out of my way to fuck up someone else’s day just because I either don’t like their purchase or some possible future it represents. And you don’t, either.

Maybe I am just gripped with the usual New Year’s prattle about being kinder to our fellow man, but I mean it. We’re already ugly enough to one another in public and in traffic and on the internet. That’s not likely to change. But if a few of you bro-dozer drivers out there can at least have the human decency to let Tesla owners charge in peace, that’s a start.

Otherwise, I have no choice but to order Smirnoff Ices for all.

[Image: Reddit user Leicina]

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80 Comments on “Don’t ICE Teslas, Bro...”


  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    That’s ridiculous. That said, Tesla fanboys are the worst. 1000x worse than the obnoxious Prius fanboys of a decade ago — but not worth anything more than a reply on a message board during some down time.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      “I’m no fan of rolling coal, either, but at least that’s a relatively harmless expression of stupidity.”

      Harmless? Sure, keep believing that like all of the other ignorant fools out there. Diesel emissions are fucking terrible, especially if you’re an asthmatic like myself. Plus, they obviously destroy the environment.

      So much for “harmless”.

      Are people seriously trying to defend these ICE-ers? I suppose it takes contrarians to make this site move.

  • avatar
    MBella

    This is stupid. It would be no different than a Tesla parking at a gas station.

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      “This is stupid. It would be no different than a Tesla parking at a gas station.”

      Once again, TTAC’s “Best and Brightest” chimes in with more ignorance.

      Are you telling me that PULLING INTO a gas station in your Tesla is the same as BLOCKING A GODDAMN CHARGER with your bro truck?

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        >>>
        Once again, TTAC’s “Best and Brightest” chimes in with more ignorance.
        Are you telling me that PULLING INTO a gas station in your Tesla is the same as BLOCKING A GODDAMN CHARGER with your bro truck?
        <<<

        The original poster said "parking at a gas station," which I think can be taken to imply parking in such a way as to block access to the pumps and then walking away. Yup. That's a pretty good comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Niq

      Actually, it’s no different than a Tesla parking at a charging station to park and not charge.

      That’s also called ICE’ing when an EV parks at a charging station and isn’t plugged in charging.

      Teslas do this all the time. I think there’s even a Tesla shaming site because it happens so often.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I believe that those ‘bros’ indulging in this ridiculous practice are from a specific demographic and probably hold specific political views. Please correct me if I am wrong our ‘out of bounds’ in mentioning this.

    Yet they are ignorant enough to target a company that designs and builds its cars in the USA?

  • avatar
    salmonmigration

    From what I can tell it was like 3, high school aged kids that did this one time, and then left when someone told on them.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      I too wonder how much this is really happening. I’ve heard an awful lot about this but so far keep seeing the same couple of pictures. It doesn’t make it right but I bet alot more people illegally park in handicap spots on a daily basis than what is happening here.

      One thing I do notice is a lack of signage in the parking spots. Do they have signs denoting “EV only” or something similar? If they’re not clearly marked like a handicap spot I could see people accidentally parking there.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Yeah, I’ve seen it happen and in spaces painted and marked with signs. It’s not just ICE vehicles blocking the spaces. I’ve seen a couple of Teslas and just last week a Prius parking in the spaces but not charging. It’s just as bad. They think it’s a private parking space for EVs. Idiots.

        • 0 avatar
          mpzz

          Frankly, I’ve never seen a Tesla, nor have I seen anyplace to charge one. And I hope never to meet Elon Musk.
          But obviously, blocking their charging spaces is a moronic thing to do, and frankly I think “rolling coal” is just as bad or worse, since you are assaulting someone when you cover them with choking clouds of diesel fumes. Some states impound pickups who pull this imbecilic stunt.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      To paraphrase Captain Kirk, “I was not aware that three bro dozers constitutes a trend.”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, how else is a tiny-dicked idiot who didn’t get enough attention from Mommy when he was little gonna make the news? The poor dears…

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Bro trucks mentioned => lefty dudes talking about other guys’ wieners

      Like clockwork lol

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Would it make you happier if I was saying the same thing about lefty guys who buy Teslas? It’s true in both cases, you know.

      • 0 avatar
        MoparRocker74

        And of course lefty guys comprise THE LARGEST pool of people concerned with other guys’ weiners, so there’s that…

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          And of course the righty guys comprise THE LARGEST pool of people concerned with regulating female bodies and who sleeps with who, so there’s that….

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            Neither of those political hot potatoes has ANYTHING to do with cars or trucks, so they have ZERO relevance here.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          This may be because the left gives those guys the least-difficult time about that kind of concern.

          I remember when both parties would strive for a big tent, rather than a raw appeal to the base.

          Winning the majority of a minority is usually the recipe for failure and loss at election time…when you see you’re painting yourself into a corner, it’s time to stop painting.

          This principle was illustrated for us on November 6th.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Difference between Prii and Teslas is a Tesla can have a tow hitch and makes hundreds of pound-feet of torque off the line.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      IB – that’d be the case except that Toyota sells a Prius tow hitch and Tesla doesn’t sell a hitch for a 3 or an S yet! They’ve promised one for my 3 (it’s “in development”) but I’d void the warranty by towing my kart with an aftermarket hitch right now.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I think the problem for Tesla peeps at charge points is more with their fellow Tesla peeps. The number of Teslas per charge point has risen drastically with the advent of the Model 3 and not many additional points being added.
    On high traffic flow days, they are lining up at the ole Supercharger like we old guys did at the gas stations in the 70s OPEC oil embargo. And apparently when all the chargers are chargin’ at once, the rate of charge reduces dramatically, compounding the problem.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    Drivers of Bro-Dozers have a reputation to maintain.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Tolerance and civility are quickly disappearing in this country. Ironically, I have found them practiced less by those most openly-promoting those same qualities. Anti-social, passive aggressive behavior is often the counterpoint to the do-gooders preaching.

    I see both sides. The Bro Dozer drivers should park in a normal spot while they go shop for another tin of lip candy. Tesla drivers should shut up and go back to smelling their own farts. (Yes, a clear rip-off of the South Park Prius Smug episode)

    There are just so few truly, open-minded discussions these days. I can hang out with both groups.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    What a pack of douchebags. Exactly what I’d expect from the drivers of tiny pee-pee pick-ups.

  • avatar
    deanst

    If people are really such idiots, let’s treat the charging spots like handicapped parking – subject to huge fines and/or towing for improper use.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      NO.

      People don’t choose to be disabled. Handicapped spots exist because we as a society choose to show compassion for the disabled, who have a hard enough life.

      Preferred parking for veterans and expectant mothers exists because we owe a debt of gratitude towards our military personnel, and it’s safer for expectant mothers to be parked a bit closer.

      EV drivers shouldn’t get one SHRED of preferential treatment for having a greenie mobile. For what? Being suck up apple polishing toadies for the enviro crowd? It costs MONEY out of all our pockets to give tax breaks for greenie cars. It costs MONEY to install those chargers in front of stores…and that cost is passed along to every customer who shops there. They have these at my work for the 6-8 EVs out of probably 300 cars. Whatever my company spent on them is money that COULD have instead been passed on to everyone in the form of a raise.

      EVs do NOT deserve any special treatment. Im all for free market capitalism. 100% on that train. Tilting the playing field in favor of what some faceless beauracrat decided was the ‘correct choice’ with regulations and stolen tax money is NOT the free market. So no. I got nothing for the ev crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        well said.

      • 0 avatar
        OneSimpleGeek

        I think you are misunderstanding the situation here. Tesla chargers are never conveniently located, so it’s not about preferential treatment because these aren’t spots anyone would want to park in.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        So I take it you’d be open to ending all subsidies on fossil fuels?

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          Sure I’m ‘open’ to the idea. Any subsidies are a wash, since you’re paying taxes on those. How does it make sense to subsidize something (presumably bringing the cost down) and then adding a tax, putting the price right back up?

          I say end ALL subsidies, strip the federal government down to running the country as the Founding Fathers saw fit and let it all adjust. Taxation wipes out some 40% of middle class earners’ income. Since government runs at about 30% efficiency (70 cents of every tax dollar is spent on overhead and administrative costs) if ending subsidies results in a 15-20% cost increase on what I buy BUT then Im keeping that 40% of previously lost income, then Im way ahead of the game. A politician or beauracrat can’t do ANYTHING for me cheaper than I can do it myself.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “but at least that lousy show of your tiny manhood”

    “Maybe I am just gripped with the usual New Year’s prattle about being kinder to our fellow man”

    Nah, I don’t think you’re too gripped by being kinder. Rolling coal and “ICE-ing” are bad things, but the “Lulz, tiny penis!” stuff is hardly endearing either.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      And now I hang my head in shame for calling them “tiny-dicked.”

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Beat me to it ajla. It kind of wipes out the moral high ground from which one can degrade the coal-rollers.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Naah. Dicks are dicks. Lord knows I’ve seen some dick moves from the Prius fanclub too (the Uber-driven ones, in particular, are prone to this). As long as you’re not a dick, and you don’t mind calling ’em like you see ’em, you can call the name all day long, far as I’m concerned.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I dunno, it just comes across as pretty bizarre to start speculating about other men’s genitals while accusing them of acting infantile.

          But once I buy my minivan and populate it with kids, please feel free to speculate about my prodigious virility :p

  • avatar
    bkojote

    A BAMF friend of mine got his Prius for Uber would shoot out the tires trucks that rolled coal on him. I don’t encourage any such behavior, but it had to be pretty funny.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      You have a ‘friend’ who has discharged a firearm at another persons car/truck while driving?

      Some group of ‘friends’ you have…Any other felonies or attempted murder they participate in daily?

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      BS. I’ll bet 90% of the guys running big trucks are packing. He’d fire his gun exactly once at a big truck before getting crumpled, shot, dragged out of that prius and beat half to death, charged with attempted murder…any or all of the above.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    At first glance I read the headline and expected to read about someone dropping an LS1 into a Model S.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I have seen the opposite though. Model S drivelines from totaled units showing up in resto-mod old cars. One that read about was super cool and very creative. Actually an EV that I would love to own!

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    When one is the recipient of being ‘Iced’ would it be inappropriate for the Icee to ‘Sugar’ the Icer?

    Asking for a friend…I only own ICE’s but choose to not park in the EV charging spot….

  • avatar
    James2

    I don’t know about the small manhood, but I do detect a small brain laboring away to be clever.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    Why do I get the feeling someone in a Prius parked at the only diesel pump to get gas, also went inside and took his time, so for retaliation, bros blocked Teslas from powering up. “That’ll show ’em!”

    • 0 avatar
      No Nickname Required

      ^^this

      I don’t own a diesel car or truck but in the few thousand miles that I’ve spent behind the wheel of diesel powered vehicles I have been amazed and frustrated by how many times I have wheeled into a fuel station to find the only pump that dispensed diesel was blocked by some gas powered car whose driver was nowhere in sight. (Who knows, maybe they had a few diesel cans in the trunk?)

      So I say “suck it up buttercup.” If it does become an issue, they could start charging (no pun intended) drivers who park at a charger for more than 30 minutes.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I’d actually be curious to see how an AWD Tesla would do in a truck-pull on pavement against one of these diesel rigs. Owing to their max-torque-at-0 and weight down low, I suspect they might do better than one might expect.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      The problem is your average diesel pickup weighs around twice the average weight of a sedan. Torque is a key ingredient but weight and traction are larger ones. Then you have hitch points, the higher hitch point of a truck will naturally pull weight off the rear of the lower sedan and the lower hitch point of the sedan would naturally pull down on the rear of the truck, further enhancing the weight and traction advantage.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Logically, you’re right, mason. However, it’s on a serious lack of data. A Tesla sedan weighs very nearly 5000#, almost the same weight as those trucks. Also, many of those Tesla sedans carry two driven axles, not one. So while the low hitch point will put more weight on the back of the truck, the Tesla could conceivably lift the truck’s front wheels off the ground in a pull, cutting its traction.

        Oh, between the two it could be an interesting tug-of-war but the Tesla’s instant torque ability gives it the first-mover advantage while the combined motor outputs outclass almost every stock truck engine at no less than 450 horses and potentially 700+ horses depending on model.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          What diesel pickup weighs 5k lbs?

          My 3500 SRW 4×4 crew cab weighs 8k lbs with roughly half a tank of fuel and me in it.
          It would be akin to my 150 hp tractor dragging my truck around, which it has done before. The truck may have higher hp/tq numbers but the extra weight of the tractor allows it to drag the truck around like a Tonka toy, er, a Tesla.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Good point Mason. Against a half ton they can still stand a chance at 5k, but a diesel basically implies some flavor of 3/4 ton, and mass and tire contact patch simply wins out at that point.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Motor Trend wrote a few months ago that at one time they tried to apply ice to their Tesla’s battery, and wrapped the car in bubble wrap, to try to cool down the battery so that the car would not overheat and shutdown during track runs. I think it got them maybe .1 seconds around the track. So yes, no point in icing Teslas.

  • avatar
    geee

    On coal rolling “At at least that’s a relatively harmless expression of stupidity.”

    Um, NO.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Does anyone remember when we were being told that the greatest threat to our civilization was paparazzi? This is no different.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    “I don’t really get why you’d need to roll coal in the face of a Prius driver for the same reasons I don’t get why bros are ICE-ing folks, but at least that lousy show of your tiny manhood”.

    I’ve had the similar “rolling coal” thing attempted on me a couple of times while cycling. Fortunately the goofs are to dumb to make it work.

    I think masculinity, political affiliation etc. are only symptoms of the real cause.

    For most people, cars are tools. The pickup bros view their trucks as toys. Adults have tools, children have toys.

    Challenging adults is part of childhood. Adults have the choice of two approaches.

    One is to sooth the children by acknowledging the world is a scary place, and pander to their every concern. This results in children who never grow up and will continue being antisocial.

    The other approach is to tell them they are not in charge, they are not going to set the rules, the adults are in charge, their behavior is unacceptable, and there are consequences.

    The children actually prefer the latter, because they know they are just children and should not be in charge.

    The bros blocking charging stations and rolling coal should be put on the naughty chair and have their toy taken away for a while. They will be grateful for this and if done consistently they will develop into adults.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    While I have seen this problem at public chargers, one of the worst offenders are car dealers who happen to sell EVs, and therefore have EV chargers.

    A check of the PlugShare app shows that the lowest ratings often go to charging stations at traditional car dealers, whose workers routinely park ICE cars in front of chargers. The dealer may proclaim that their chargers are free to the public, but they’re often not available.

    The Nissan dealer near me gets a rating of *1.2* out of 10 due to this problem, and it illustrates the tepid commitment of the ICE mfrs/dealers to supporting EVs.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I’ve given up on dealers at this point. Boch Nissan of Norwood MA QC has been down for 3 years. Still can’t beat Tesla for a charging network. With those model 3s that have the dual tesla/ccs ports you could hit both superchargers and CCS quick chargers.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    That article deserves a massive thumbs up. And this comes from a pickup owner himself. I have a truck because I have a need for its capabilities. I don’t have one just to show off and act like a dick.

  • avatar
    Mr.EpMini9

    This is so dumb. You can’t stop Tesla future.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Unscrew all 4 valve stems out of their tires & tape them to the windshield with a note that says “Have a Nice Day”………LOL

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    It’s a shame how much I used to enjoy coming here multiple times a day, and now remember why I hate coming here anymore the once a week that I do. This was just stupid. It’s even more stupid since it’s basically copy paste what Jason wrote at Jalopnik on this. If you’re going to write stupid, at least write original stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I read Jason’s piece but my thoughts are my own — I just happen to agree with him. Blocking EV charging spots out of spite is, to me, a dick move. Just because I agree with another auto writer doesn’t mean I am copying. Thanks for reading!

  • avatar
    Niq

    Serves them right if you ask me.

    Half the time you go to a charging station, especially a DC CCS Combo (which Tesla’s can’t use) and there’s a Tesla blocking the charger.

    Since charging stations tend to be premium parking right next to the buildings, Tesla owners love to just park in them without charging just to get a close parking spot. Go to any EV forum or chat group and you’ll see dozens of posts and pics on the matter.

    I remember one story a guy got beat to a station by a lady in her Tesla and he needed to charge. She just parked and started walking off. Didn’t plug in. He told her those spots are for charging only. Her response was “I know” and continued to walk off to go shop. BTW, it was a DC CCS combo so she couldn’t use it to charge anyway.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    I saw this on that car tabloid that starts with J. I’m cringing here that the attention this has garnered will only encourage more idiocy. Although since I live in Houston I don’t know if I’ve even seen a real supercharging station in real life. I know they exist but they’re not exactly plentiful here. I’m starting to think it makes a lot of sense to go electric. Plug in at night at home while electric prices are low. Plug in in my parking garage when they aren’t. My Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT averages a dozen mpg in rush hour traffic.

  • avatar
    DieselTechForum

    Well written Tim and thanks TTAC for hosting comments.

    Agree with much and many commenters here- it’s a stupid thing in any form, for any reason; it’s disrespectful and wrong and illegal in some places. Most of all it’s hopefully not a “growing trend” as some other journalists have called it. Hate to make it an “us vs. Tesla” thing but some have and some can only see the world that way. We should respect individual choices for vehicle or fuel type; what works for you may not work for me. we’re not a one size fits all world.

    Rolling coal (aka tampering) is something the diesel industry will continue to come out and oppose wherever possible. It’s not cool and not representative of new technology diesel engines.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    There are many ways to fight this:

    1) Add a number for the towing company on the lot
    2) Make the charging cable long enough for the Tesla to double park in front of the Bro truck (that’ll take them hours to come back)
    3) Add some height restriction bar on top of the lot so they can’t drive into the lot (this won’t help if they use, say, another redneck favorite like Charger, to block it)
    4) Install security camera and broadcast who parked there, to shame these guys on the internet.

    Towing these truck away with a Tesla may escalate the situation, I’d let the towing company do it instead.

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