Tyre Extinguisher activists let down electric 4×4 tyres in Bristol

The driver of an SUV vehicle said he was left ‘very angry’ after environmental activists let his tyre down – even though it was an electric vehicle.

Tristan Smith’s Audi ETron electric 4×4 was one of almost 100 targeted by a group calling itself the ‘Tyre Extinguishers‘, who struck last week in the Clifton, Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze area of Bristol.

The Tyre Extinguishers is a global movement targeting 4x4s and large SUV vehicles in cities across North America and Europe, and it’s believed to be the third time they have undertaken a mass deflation of scores of tyres in more affluent areas of Bristol, as part of a nationwide night of action.

Read more: Tyre Extinguishers letter was ‘insulting’ says 78-year-old targeted by campaign

But Mr Smith thought his Audi ETron electric SUV would not be targeted, given it is not the ‘huge polluting’ or ‘gas guzzling’ vehicle being focused on by the environmental activists.

He said he discovered his vehicle had a tyre deflated, and the same ‘letter to the owner’ attached to every vehicle attacked last week.

He said: “My electric car, an Audi ETron, has also been targeted by the Tyre Extinguishers despite not being a gas guzzler. I was very angry. There seems to be no valid justification whatsoever to targeting electric cars. Beyond that, the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’ have no right to dictate what anyone actually drives.”

Last week, the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’ claimed responsibility for the mass attack on 4x4s and SUVs across from Clifton to Henleaze. Among the victims was 78-year-old Robert Burgess, who said he found the letter they left him insulting. He told Bristol Live that the message to him from the Tyre Extinguishers called on him to use public transport instead, but he said he already did just that – and barely drove his Land Rover, only if he was going on a long journey out of the city.

While Mr Burgess’s car is a deisel Range Rover, which will be liable for the Clean Air Zone fee later this year, Mr Smith’s electric SUV is among the latest and most eco-friendly vehicles on the market.

A tyre on an electric SUV was deflated by the Tyre Extinguishers in Bristol
(Image: Bristol live)

However, targeting it was not a mistake on the part of the Tyre Extinguishers – the letter mentions that they regard electric or hybrid 4x4s and SUVs as legitimate targets. On the group’s website, they state: “Hybrids and electric cars are fair game.

“We cannot electrify our way out of the climate crisis – there are not enough rare earth metals to replace everyone’s car and the mining of these metals causes suffering. Plus, the danger to other road users still stands, as does the air pollution (PM 2.5 pollution is still produced from tyres and brake pads),” they added.

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