Despite all the evidence that points to electric cars being much better for the environment than dirty fuel-powered equivalents, it seems some just can’t let go of gas and diesel.
One Tesla driver experienced that while driving behind a pickup truck, which appeared to “coal roll” them before they passed. The whole incident was caught on the driver’s dashcam and posted to Reddit.
In the Reddit video, the Tesla glides past the pickup truck and continues on its journey, but the suspected effort to intimidate didn’t go unnoticed.
Coal rolling is when a diesel car is modified in order to release clouds of black smoke from the exhaust pipe. One of the reasons for doing this is to protest electric cars, and it seems that this Tesla was right in the firing line.
“License should be revoked and truck impounded until fixed,” said one Reddit commenter after watching the video.
Discussing the act of coal rolling, another Redditor said, “Lately, it has been done as a protest against environmentalism. And is often used as a weapon (yes a weapon) against pedestrians, bicyclists, hybrid vehicles and, in this case, an electric vehicle.”
InsideEVs covered a similar case recently where the truck driver seemed to be more relentless.
According to howstuffworks, coal rolling is achieved by forcing more diesel fuel into the engine than it can handle, and the release of black smoke can be coordinated. The website also noted it is illegal in the United States because it violates the Clean Air Act. Raw Story reported that multiple companies have agreed to pay million-dollar fees after being caught conspiring to violate the act by modifying vehicles.
In 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that diesel fuel consumption from transportation in the United States produced over 520 million tons of carbon dioxide. This accounted for around 26% of carbon dioxide pollution in the U.S. transportation sector.
Meanwhile, an electric vehicle is much kinder to the environment and accounts for far less planet-harming pollution during its life cycle than dirty-fuel models. Even if the electricity required to run the vehicle is generated by using dirty energy sources, they still produce zero tailpipe pollution, ensuring no damage to air quality while out on the road.
In terms of air quality, it’s clear that coal rolling really doesn’t help. A 2020 EPA report summarized in the New York Times found that altered pickup trucks release around 5,000 tons of excess industrial soot, which is linked to respiratory illnesses.
Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.