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Police search for vandals after discovering spray paint across 34 new Cybertrucks: 'Vandalism is not acceptable'

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy.

Photo Credit: iStock

After the Tesla Cybertruck was first announced in 2019, it took a while for the Elon Musk-led company's first electric pickup truck to be seen on the nation's roads. 

The unique-looking trucks finally started reaching customers at the end of 2023, but they're still spotted only sporadically in the wild. That's why the recent sight of 34 in a Florida parking lot was so surprising. 

For some, though, it wasn't a welcome appearance.

According to Fort Lauderdale's Local 10 News, Tesla leases the lot to store new vehicles. But the lack of protection at the site quickly backfired, with "F*** Elon" spray-painted on the all-electric trucks' hoods. 

Musk, the Tesla CEO, is no stranger to controversy, from using his vast social media platform to share conspiracy theories to fighting against the National Labor Relations Board. Despite all the good work he's done to bring electric vehicles to a mainstream audience, he's picked up plenty of enemies along the way. And some folks in Florida weren't shy about making their feelings known.

Fort Lauderdale Police was investigating the late June incident, but few updates have been issued since.

While the Cybertrucks may split opinion, for many reasons, there's no doubt that they can provide huge environmental benefits.

In 2022, the University of Michigan reported that light-duty vehicles, including pickup trucks, accounted for 58% of dirty fuel pollution in the United States transportation sector. Meanwhile, pickup trucks made up 14% of light-duty vehicle sales in 2020, with that percentage rising in the following years.

That's why providing an alternative that runs on cleaner electricity is essential in the fight against global heating — which is exacerbated by toxic gases released from vehicle exhausts.

While the electricity grid is still reliant on coal-fired power stations, these are gradually being phased out, with sustainable energy from solar and wind sources becoming increasingly prevalent. What's more, electricity doesn't produce any pollution when in use, meaning no harmful toxins are released from electric vehicles when out on the road. 

In addition to reducing the release of planet-warming gases, EVs are much better for air quality, as they don't release harmful particulate matter that has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. 

If Cybertrucks and the technology they utilize — offering a 340-mile range on a single charge — can achieve a larger share of the pickup market, the effects on the planet could be profound.

While one Fort Lauderdale resident seemed sympathetic to the situation, telling Local 10 News that "Vandalism is not acceptable," the incident still picked up plenty of attention. For Musk, he probably welcomed more eyes on his company's Cybertruck, no matter the reasons for it. 

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