Tesla driver's hidden message in 'smug' number plate

Electric vehicles remain a divisive topic as more and more appear on Australian roads.

Tesla Model S with number plate 'RIP ICE' on South Australian road.
A Tesla driver's number plate has caused a stir on social media. Source: Facebook

There's a clear divide among Australians, that much is clear, with electric vehicles remaining a contentious topic across the country.

As EV sales continue to grow in Australia, and worldwide, they've created a wedge between two passionate parties — those who like and drive them and others who don't.

The rivalry is evident in the number plates displayed on a South Australian's Tesla vehicle which were spotted by a curious motorist in Adelaide this week.

"Quite appropriate rego for an EV," thought the driver. However, not everyone agreed.

The plates on the Tesla Model S say, "RIP ICE" paying homage to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars, or regular petrol or diesel vehicles. Seemingly suggesting that ICE cars are a thing of the past.

More electric vehicles on Aussie roads

Currently, approximately 198,000 electric vehicles are driving on Australian roads, two-thirds of which have been purchased since 2022. The federal government plans to grow the country's EV network drastically by 2030 to accommodate the soaring demand.

So in many ways, it's a "fair point" one person on Facebook suggested after seeing the image shared online. "Sales are decreasing for ICE vehicles which will make them RIP," they said.

Left: White Tesla vehicle with black number plate 'RIP FUEL'. Right: Cars stuck in traffic on busy road.
Other electric vehicle number plates, including 'RIP FUEL', were called out on Facebook. Source: Facebook/Getty

"Wow!!! That is the best number plate. Love it," another said. With someone else calling it "fantastic". But some didn't agree the number plate was a smart choice.

"Yeah, I prefer not to poke the bear. Too many idiots out there that hate EVs," one shared. "Sadly these plates just guarantee that your car will get keyed" — just ask this boomer couple who got busted deliberately damaging a white Tesla in a parking lot.

Another agreed saying, "I hate those stupid plates". "I drive an EV but don’t need to drive around making smug statements. Lame," they added.

Others shared examples of the "smug" plates in question that are currently on Australian roads — some of which include "ONE-LESSCO2", "NOFEWL", "RIP FUEL".

Aussies remain divided over shift to electric vehicles

Despite an increase of EVs, namely Teslas, on Aussie roads, not everyone agrees they're the best way forward.

Gordon Walker, a retiree living on the Gold Coast, told Yahoo News Australia that, despite having driven many, and even owning one himself, "EVs are not the way of the future".

"It's a hiccup and it's a disaster," he said, adding more needs to be done to improve the EV infrastructure in Australia for it to available option in the future. Instead, he suggested hybrid vehicles might be a better option.

Time and time again EV drivers are faced with kilometre-long queues at charging stations across the country. And most of which don't yet accommodate vehicles towing caravans or trailers.

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