Climate activists target Tesla, label it a “gas guzzler” – report - SUV VEHICLE

Climate activists target Tesla, label it a “gas guzzler” – report


An electric SUV has been vandalised by self-proclaimed ‘eco-warriors’ in the English city of Bristol, but representatives of the group are doubling down on their actions – even though it doesn’t directly consume any petrol.

A group of climate activists in the UK have deflated the tyres on a Tesla Model X in an act of protest, leaving a leaflet behind on the windscreen which claims it is a “gas guzzler” – even though it is an electric car.

According to the BBC, the Tesla owner found the tyres of his Model X had been deflated when taking his dog for a walk, along with the leaflet left under a windscreen wiper.

The owner told the BBC there was “something comical about it,” but still felt “slightly violated” by the vandalism.

“Attention: Your gas guzzler kills,” the leaflet read.

“We have deflated one or more of your tyres. We did this because driving around in your SUV vehicle (sic) has huge consequences. SUVs are the second-largest cause of the rise in CO2 emissions over the past decade, more than the aviation industry.”

“It’s ironic,” the owner told the BBC, “because I was trying to do the right thing by buying an electric car.”

The group, which calls itself ‘The Tyre Extinguishers’, took to X (formerly Twitter) to defend its actions.

“Electric cars are fair game. We can’t electrify our way out of the climate crisis. The danger to other road users still stands, as does air pollution (PM 2.5 pollution is still produced from tyres / brake pads).

“A child killed by an SUV doesn’t care if its (sic) electric or petrol.”

One person responded: “What has danger to other road users got to do with climate change? What energy source do we use if not electricity or fossil fuel?”

While another wrote: “Most [electric vehicles] don’t use their brakes. [They] brake using their motors to create more carbon-free energy. You literally know nothing about the things you attack.”

In late August 2023, a member of The Tyre Extinguishers deflated the tyres of approximately 20 SUVs in Toorak – an affluent suburb of Melbourne – in the first known instance locally.

The group encourages its supporters to deflate tyres and leave a leaflet on the windscreen explaining their actions.

Under Victoria’s Litter Act of 1987, it is an offence to place leaflets on any vehicle, as the leaflet could be blown away by the wind or disintegrate in rain – with fines of more than $950 applicable for each instance.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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