Home » This Tweet About A Tesla Driver Having To Fill Up A Car With Gas Is A Remarkable Bit Of Current Automotive Cultural Madness

This Tweet About A Tesla Driver Having To Fill Up A Car With Gas Is A Remarkable Bit Of Current Automotive Cultural Madness

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We live in a transition era, automotively. Electric cars have now become mainstream, and while they still really only are around 1% of cars on American roads, they command an awful lot of attention, and there’s no denying that the future will be at least largely powered by EVs, though there will certainly still be plenty of combustion cars around for decades to come. At this moment, though, we’re still at the beginning of the transition, and the automotive world is still very much designed with ICE cars in mind. That’s why this particular tweet, seen by over 640,000 people at the time of this writing, is so gloriously stupid and absurd. It was sent by a proud Tesla owner, forced into having to drive his daughter’s combustion-powered Honda Odyssey, and describes the grueling ordeal he suffered through to fill the car up with gas. Yes, this is just a tweet from some guy, but it’s also a fascinating document of a strange mentality among some EV owners, and especially among a very vocal subset of Tesla owners, who seem to live with a single-minded determination to prove that life without a Tesla is an unbearable, nightmarish slog. Let’s just take a look here.

Here’s the tweet in question:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Right from the top, things seem off. The insistence on “Tier 1” gasoline I guess is fine, and just means that the gas (which is all pulled from communal sources across brands) has a particular set of additives and detergents and flavor crystals or whatever that may be beneficial for your car. Fine. Then, the person Googles for the nearest gas station, which, again, isn’t really something that regular drivers normally need to do since gas stations are, you know, absolutely fucking everywhere. The dude could have just gotten in and started to drive to whatever his ultimate destination was, and chances are really good, in most parts of America, that he’d encounter multiple “Tier 1” gas stations along the way.

He then describes some mishaps with an out-of-order pump, which, sure, happens sometimes. And he has some issues with the “negotiate payment” part, which sounds like he’s sitting down in a boardroom with the CEO of Chevron to close a lucrative 14-gallon contract. For the rest of humanity, this just means swiping a credit card in the little thingie.

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Whatever. Dude had to go inside to pay, like a filthy animal. And he didn’t even get himself some Combos as a reward for enduring this considerable hardship. Anyway, after his nightmarish four-step process, he concludes with

I miss my  @Tesla ????”

Don’t cry-emoji, buddy. It’ll be okay.

All of this is so performative and absurd, I can’t even. It’s filling up a car with gas. It takes five minutes. You can do it pretty much anywhere. It’s not an event worth a multi-paragraph tweet. The forced, inane difficulties this guy had feels like how those informercials for crap have to set up the concept that somehow carrying two things to your couch can nearly kill a healthy, full-grown adult. You know, this kind of crap:

Plus, the guy tweeting isn’t some kid with zero experience with combustion cars: he has a daughter old enough to drive a Honda Odyssey! He’s been around a while, he has definitely filled up cars’ gas tanks many, many times, and has somehow lived to tell the tale. He sort of addresses this baffling notion in a follow-up tweet:

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He says

“Granted, all the familiarity and routine of filling up was long gone. The smells, the sketchy people hanging around, the grunge and pump damage obscuring the price … I’d forgotten about.”

This is all absolutely, patently absurd. The damage obscuring the price? Every gas station has the price in fucking three-foot-high numbers on a massive sign that if you can’t see as you drive in, you probably shouldn’t be driving. Sketchy people hanging around? Okay, that’s possible, but come on, this is not a major issue, and if it is, don’t forget you’re the one holding a super-soaker that delivers a stream of petroleum. The smells? Grow up. And somehow he forgot how to pump gas? Was he hit by lightning?

And what the hell does this mean?

“I’m the stranger moms warn about.”

That’s not generally a good thing to brag about?

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Look, I get that charging an EV at home is very convenient. That’s great, I’m happy for you, enjoy that. But it’s not like public EV charging is even remotely as mature or easy as filling a car with gas. Tesla’s Supercharger network is by far the best of them all, but you’re not getting in and out nearly as fast as you would filling a car up with gas even in the best of circumstances, and the greater mass of EV charging stations are, charitably, a shitshow of reliability and accessibility problems.

Plus, gas pumps almost never trap your car when they’re not working right:

I’m not anti-EV by any means. They have so many advantages, and the charging infrastructure, while not there yet, is and will improve. Charging at home, if you have the sort of property that allows it, is great. But the idea that filling an ICE car up with gas is somehow hard? Come on. That’s just absurd, and debases everyone interested in EVs by even making the claim.

This era is interesting; the amount of people who have, for reasons I’m not fully able or qualified to fathom, have tied their identity up in something like a car company such as Tesla is far greater than anything I’ve seen in the automotive world before.

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This tweet is such a perfect example of this. Why would someone so exaggerate such a mundane activity as getting gas, and then publicly describe the incident to anyone who will listen? Why is this man of a certain age so invested in you holding the same opinions he does as he tries to convince you an act you perform without thinking about it at all on a roughly weekly basis is somehow a labor on par with a spelunking rescue?

I debated about the newsworthiness of covering all this, but it was pointed out to me by enough people, and the number of views this is getting was enough to make me realize what we’re seeing here is a unique by-product of so many things: the transition to EVs, the influence of brand identities, the wild reach of social media, the fragility and insecurity of our own identities, the state of our refueling and EV charging infrastructure, and likely more.

It’s a deeply stupid tweet, sure, but it’s also a really effective mirror showing a genuinely perplexing subset of automotive culture.

What a goofy time to be alive.

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Swedish Jeep
Swedish Jeep
3 months ago

This is a brilliant way to troll the anti-electric people. This is exactly how they sound when they complain about EVs….. If you read some of the responses to his tweet this becomes even more apparent- trolls highschoolers, trolls minivans, trolls brodozers, this is pure non-ironic ironic comedic gold.

Scott
Scott
10 months ago

All of this is so performative and absurd, I can’t even.”

I SO agree.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
11 months ago

Yeah, what a stupid idiot doofus who’s a completely entitled, attention seeking, ignorant moron who can screw off to Uranus

Strangek
Strangek
11 months ago

There’s an add on these days that delights me. I think it’s for a Swiffer or something like that, but the lady in it is trying to use a regular old floor mop and she’s wringing it out with her hands LOL! It gets me every time.

Derj
Derj
11 months ago

Aw man, The Autopian is enshittifying now, too…? :/
Anyone else seeing this, or is it just me?

https://i.imgur.com/8Cif1X7.jpg

Last edited 11 months ago by Derj
Vee
Vee
11 months ago

Tesla owners are the new Corvette Guys. Except instead of “Rare rare rare rare rare my car is one of one because Gandini himself shit his pants in the driver’s seat” it’s “Green green green green green my car is best car because my car uses electrons! Zero carbon! Zero carbon!” They’re pushy and anchor their entire personality around a marketing scheme because their lives are so devoid of personal development that a physical product far exceeds a long-term experience or hobby in terms of self-actualization.

I feel like I’m channeling too much Mr. Regular here, but it fits.

Drew
Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  Vee

Most of the Tesla guys even went away from feeling like they should do something about the environment and are now just talking about acceleration, FSD, and not having engine noise. Environmentalism is mostly for e-bikes and some of the other EVs, now.

Mpphoto
Mpphoto
11 months ago

This guy comes across as a drama queen. I wonder if he had this tweet thread all lined up in his head as soon as he left to get gas. He saw it as his golden opportunity to put down gas cars. He wanted to document every little thing that happened during his harrowing journey to buy gas. I think he had this planned going into it. Get some views, feed his ego, and do that weird EV evangelist thing.

William Eby
William Eby
11 months ago

Is that really an Odyssey? He says SUV, wouldn’t it be a Pilot?

121gwats
121gwats
11 months ago

Rent a Tesla and drive cross country. Your charging stops will be far closer to gas fill-ups than expected. Once I go in, take a leak, get coffee, stretch, my car is ready for the next 200+ mile leg (3 hrs). This is especially true if you have kids, I can NEVER get in-out of a gas station in under 20 min unless I’m a drill sergeant.

If you’re a “piss jar/diaper” kind of road tripper, no.. EVs wont be the same as ICE.

EDIT: CCS charging sucks, I’d much rather drive an ICE. The guy in the video is being WAY over-dramatic, but yeah, superchargers just plug in and work in under 2 sec.. You get used to it quickly.

Last edited 11 months ago by 121gwats
Michael Hess
Michael Hess
11 months ago

Had to fill my Lexus yesterday. Haven’t been to a gas station in months. Thank you Model Y!

The entire time I was thinking to myself “uhg, what a waste of my time!” Then I got a free iced coffee from my gas app.

Suddenly I remembered why I hate gas stations, not the pumps, the damn stations!

Be another couple months till I have to fill the BRZ. I actually dread that day.

Thankfully my daughter fills the FiST…

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
11 months ago

This reminds me of a tweet from a few years back by that self-driving engineer for Waymo:

“Have been driving in LA with a rental car that doesn’t have the autonomous features that my own car has. Almost crashed ten times and ran over five people in two days! Humans aren’t designed to drive cars!”

A joke of course, but his contention that “Human’s aren’t designed to drive cars” led me to think about all the abilities that humans evolved that actually make us so great at driving cars. Spatial reasoning, motion processing and pattern recognition are all things that we do without thinking. Our ancestors developed these traits in order to be better hunters, but for us they are the main reason why no autonomous system yet developed has been able to drive a car as well as a human can.

Sure, we bitch and moan about what poor drivers our fellow humans are. But consider the fact that we are controlling multi-ton vehicles within a few feet of opposing traffic, travelling at relative velocities of 100 mph or more. And most of us do this routinely, for years, almost never colliding with anything. We commonly drive a single vehicle 100,000 miles or more on public roads without hitting anything at all.

This is kind of amazing when you think about it.

Last edited 11 months ago by TriangleRAD
CUlater
CUlater
11 months ago
Reply to  TriangleRAD

Huh. Off topic, but as you observed I guess the fastest way to level infinity true autonomous self driving is to first focus on building T1000s and letting the AI improve itself for a few years and then moving on to FSD. Or maybe that’s what Melon Husk has already been doing to us with ‘beta FSD’?

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
11 months ago
Reply to  CUlater

Melon Husk is my new favorite name for him

Frackle
Frackle
11 months ago

Reads like someone doing a parody of clickbait testimonials about difficulties doing a roadtrip in an EV where all their struggles are due to unfamiliarity with the process.

Ronald Pottol
Ronald Pottol
11 months ago
Reply to  Frackle

Exactly, and you’d think this website would understand that! ????

Harmanx
Harmanx
11 months ago

Fundamental principle of social media profitability: outrage maximizes human engagement. This has been freshly demonstrated with this article and its comments section.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
11 months ago

This is how you luddites describe charging a car. That’s how it sounds to us that drive BEVs.

Ben
Ben
11 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Dude, put down the keyboard. Elon doesn’t need you to defend him in every comment thread on this article.

CB Brown
CB Brown
11 months ago

Loaned my Tesla Model Y Tell us you really wanted a Model X without saying I’m poor /s

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
11 months ago

The Irony is that he is displaying the type of behavior that is normal for EV drivers. Yes, you have to look for the right charger, get directions, plan your trip, and waste your time. So, I guess he is making the point that EV can be inconvenient at times?

I guess habits die hard when you go back to ICE. Where you can just drive pretty much anywhere without caring and fill up at one of the 20 gas stations you pass, and have a full tank in about 5 minutes.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
11 months ago

except for the corner case where you live in the mountains of Colorado 20 miles from the nearest gas station.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
11 months ago

Yeah no. You don’t have to look for a charger or plan your trip. You put in the destination and the car maps the stops out for you. You don’t have to think about it at all in a Tesla. Most people are not even charging publicly most of time. Its only the rare road trip they hit a supercharger and its no inconvenient.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
11 months ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

IDK, the only guy i know with an EV is always talking about how he is looking up superchargers. Always looking for one with something to do around it so he can do something fun while he waits. I think he got tired of sitting at longhorn or walking around Hobby Lobby for 45 minutes all the time. So now he spends time searching for one that has something fun to do nearby. I think he used to let the car map it out but that got bring fast.

Ioan Radulescu
Ioan Radulescu
11 months ago

Haha that guy sounds like me. The car will take me by itself to a supercharger, but I actually look for one that has something cool to photograph close by to take some picture… or one that has open view. Tbh that’s not when I’m under time pressure.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
11 months ago

The Twitter posts aren’t showing up properly on my work computer today…did the “negotiating payment” part involve him trying to write a check?

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
11 months ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

Today is the first day on Twitter where you cant view Tweets without being signed into Twitter.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
11 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

That explains a lot of comments I’m seeing today.

Ben
Ben
11 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Ugh, I hadn’t heard that was happening, probably because I haven’t been on Twitter since Elon took over. I sincerely hate sites that won’t even let you read them without creating an account so I guess I’ll continue to pretend Twitter doesn’t exist.

Black Peter
Black Peter
11 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

Wow, just when you thought it was burned to the ground, Elon throws fuel on the ashes… “How can we increase engagement? I know block non-users for seeing tweets!” What a #@$%^ing genius!

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
11 months ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

That sucks. Not being able to read the tweet kind of ruins the article

Who Knows
Who Knows
11 months ago

As overdone and stupid as this is, there is some truth to it. We live out in the mountains, and arguably have better access to public L2 charging than gas stations. Either we can drive several miles up valley and pay ski resort prices, or over 20 miles down to the one medium sized town in the area for the handful of times we fill up the old Jeep each year. A couple years ago, it was common for the big gas station in the town to be completely out of fuel, so that 2 out of 3 times we tried to get gas there we either had to go wait in line for 45 minutes at a small gas station down the road getting swamped by everyone, or just drive home, and then drive half an hour out of the way the next time we took the Jeep out (for some of the areas we take for weekend trips, we do not pass a gas station). Dealing with public charging can certainly be a pain, but it is not uncommon for us to have filling with gas be even worse. We are certainly an edge case, but once used to charging at home, things like going to a gas station or getting an oil change suddenly seem much more inconvenient than they used to be.

Also, things I can do and have done while charging, which are not things that I’ve ever been able to go while getting gas:

Go mountain biking
Play in a park with our 2 year old
Climb for a bit on an outdoor bouldering wall
Go on a walk along a river trail
Shopping of various sorts
Sleep in the car on a trip, while refueling for free overnight, with the ability to run heat or AC if I want to

Ioan Radulescu
Ioan Radulescu
11 months ago
Reply to  Who Knows

this is a good point! It is much easier to transport electricity than gas.

Rexracer
Rexracer
11 months ago

100% this whole thing is ridiculous. Just like it’s ridiculous when someone gets in an EV and writes up a ridiculous tweet/post/article about how crazy terrible the experience is.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
11 months ago
Reply to  Rexracer

That’s what he is doing here is lampooning those articles about how hard it is to charge. It’s not. You put in your destination and stop at the chargers it indicates. The difference for Tesla on a 250 or 150 is minimal because of the charging curve. Other BEV makers software is getting better

When I drove from California to Idaho I had no problems, the car directed me to the chargers, and all were pretty much at gas stations or truck stops. In my ICE cars I would set my destination and then look for a station on the way to gas up at and likely gas up early because I did not know where the next station was unless it was a trip I regularly took.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
11 months ago

Just wait until the Poors get EVs and they are hanging around the charging stations, sure he will be much happier then. I forsee parking lot BBQs in the future at charging stations.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
11 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

You mean like people getting gas at Costco?

Uninformed Fucknugget
Uninformed Fucknugget
11 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

I like this idea. Something like a revolving door block party. Show up with some burgers and dogs, shoot the breeze with randos let the kids run crazy, head out once you’re done charging.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
11 months ago

https://cleantechnica.com/2023/06/27/renting-an-audi-gasmobile-3-things-i-miss-massively-from-my-tesla-model-3/

The comments on this article are equally as cringe inducing as this tweet. “The car moves forward when I let off the brake?! Absurd!”

Strangek
Strangek
11 months ago

Wow, that was rough. “It’s so hard to get the car to go forward! How hard do I press this pedal thing?”

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
11 months ago

Wow those are bad

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