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“FKGAS” Tesla Model 3 Lives On to Shame Gas-Guzzlers, Preach About EVs

Score one for the freedom of expression. One Model 3 owner has won an injunction against the DMV, after it tried to revoke his vanity license plate because it read “FKGAS.”
Rhode Island man with Tesla Model 3 with FKGAS vanity plate wins injunction against the DMV 1 photo
The whole thing started earlier this year, when Sean Carroll from Province, Rhode Island, had already been driving his Tesla Model 3 with the “FKGAS” vanity plate for almost 5 months. After an anonymous complaint was filed with the DMV, he was notified that the license plate had been deemed offensive and, as such, would have to be revoked.

Except that Carroll chose to fight the decision in court, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island. They took the DMV to court, arguing that not allowing Carroll to keep the license plate infringed on his free speech and amounted, more or less, to political censorship and discrimination.

Now, Carroll has won an injunction against the DMV, with U.S. District Judge Mary McElroy siding with him in saying “the revocation of the license plate, which would prohibit Mr. Carroll from expressing his views on fossil fuel propulsion of motor vehicles, would stifle him in an irreparable way.” The judge also pointed out that the very idea behind vanity plates is to allow personal expression, while arguing against the DMV’s ability to decide what is offensive and what not.

Granted, this is just one battle won, not the war, but it’s a right step in the right direction.

In a statement to The Providence Journal, which has followed Carroll’s case closely, the Model 3 owner says that he didn’t even get the plate to cause a stir. He wanted to make more people aware of the possibility of driving an EV through a humorous approach and, as per his attorney, “to convey, through the license plate, a personal philosophical and political message concerning his views about gasoline-powered automobiles and the environment.”

The idea for the “FKGAS” plate was an innocent one, too. Contrary to what you might think. As he’s said before, Carroll actively tries to reduce his carbon footprint, and that includes driving an EV and using solar panels for his home. His daughter calls batteries that power up the car and all the appliances “fake gas,” so “FK” stands for “fake” and not another, way more famous F-word. But Carroll is down with that one, too, when it comes to gas-guzzlers, he says for the publication.

 
 
 
 
 

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