Rivalry between electric car and fossil fuel car drivers is heating up, with a group of electric car drivers in Europe blocking a petrol station in Croatia to vent their frustration at having access to EV chargers blocked repeately by petrol and diesel cars.
It may seem an extreme course of action, but this is the first time an example of electric vehicle (EV) drivers hitting back at owners of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars parking in EV charge spots has come to our attention.
Known as “ICEing”, the act of parking in an EV charge spot by the driver of a petrol or diesel car is sometimes deliberate and sometimes borne out of ignorance, but it has the same effect: stopping an EV owner from being able to recharge their vehicle.
The video of EV drivers highlighting the problem by blocking access to the petrol station, which is owned by Croation-based fuel provider Ina, surfaced on social media channel Twitter via Gavin Shoebridge.
A group of electric car drivers blocked this gas station in Europe today to highlight the annoyance of gas clunkers blocking EV charging spots. While I understand their motive, I'm not sure about this… pic.twitter.com/k452nfxaHu
— Gavin Shoebridge (@KiwiEV) December 10, 2019
But the action has divided EV drivers responding to the post, with some insisting that hitting back will only attract more negative reactions from those opposed to electric vehicles.
“Not a good idea…the rest of us will cop the outrage!”, one Tweep said.
“I agree with you on principle but considering the vandalism done to EVs and EV infrastructures, I’m not entirely opposed to some peaceful, nonviolent ICE protesting to help get the message across,” said another.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right but it is an issue that many are not taking seriously. CP operators and landowners equally culpable of shrugging shoulders,” said a third.
Howeverm others support the idea. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” was one such response.
“Actually not a bad idea. It’s simple protesting. You have to inconvenience people that are other wise oblivious to the situation. Think of it like shutting down roads or major highways with protestors. It gets attention and spreads the message. Bad PR is good PR,” said another.
Another point made by commenters was that to be effective, action needs to be targeted directly to those causing the problem.
“If it was a location that regularly blocked chargers then fair enough, if not then its a bit random and likely to piss people off and encourage them to hate EVs,” said one.
“Nope, it’s not targeted enough. You need to target those who are blocking EV charging spaces. Some of those are EV/PHEV drivers just using it as a parking space,” said a second.
While it is not clear how effective the action has been, with the video so far gaining an incredible 16,000 views it has certainly got people’s attention.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.