Screen grab from a video posted on Facebook by Igor Kolovrat.
Screen grab from a video posted on Facebook by Igor Kolovrat.

Electric vs gasoline: Tesla, other EVs block conventional cars at pump stations

  • Owners of electric vehicles say they have been harassed by owners of cars running on conventional fuels at pumping stations which also offer electric charging points.
  • This problem could make its way to India as well once electric mobility picks up here.

In a problem that could become a sorry reality in India in the times to come, several owners of Tesla and other electric vehicles (EVs) in Croatia recently held a protest on wheels by blocking entry of cars running on conventional fuels at a fuel pump station.

According to a report in Electrek, the protest was organised by a local unofficial Tesla owners club in protest against EVs in the country regularly being blocked by cars running on conventional fuel at pump stations which also have charging blocks. The term used unofficially by EV owners when their cars are blocked in such a way is 'Icing.'

To protest against icing, a number of EV owners decided to create a blockade for cars on conventional fuel and prevent their entry into a pumping station. They claimed that owners of non-EV vehicles often do the same to them out of spite and to annoy them, often parking their cars at charging points and leaving endlessly.

Such a conflict between owners of EVs and owners of gasoline or diesel cars is gaining momentum in a number of countries where electric mobility is gathering pace. India may not be able to steer itself away from this potential conflict point as the question of supporting infrastructure is gathering as much momentum as electric mobility itself.

While there is an impetus to take electric mobility to the masses in India, it is still in the nascent stage. A number of car makers have either brought in or are planning to bring in electric cars here but experts worry about how and if the supporting infrastructure would be able to keep pace. They agree that while dedicated charging points, at least in metropolitan cities, would be inevitable, it would be absolutely imperative to bring in charging points at fuel stations too. And with charge time for an electric car considerably longer than the time it takes to tank up a petrol or diesel car, scenes like the one in Croatia could become all too real in India as well moving forward.

Several European countries are now considering a mechanism by which fines can be imposed on vehicles blocking points and lanes at charging/refuelling stations. Moving forward, that could also well be the reality of mobility in India.