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Electric Vehicles: Driving Across a Desert Biome in Australia (You will be surprised).

Thursday, March 14 2024.

Very early yesterday we received a curious picture from a friend, apparently a charging station for electric vehicles (EV) ... powered by a diesel generator. Interesting.

After some (obvious) first reactions and parking the topic, we later thought to be an subject of one of our posts, investigative journalism style.

It was easy to find posts and comments at internet:

With this last reference to the Outback - which is in Australia - and a closer look at the picture, indeed one can read Nullarbor and identify a Tritium Veefil 50kW DC charger, with a generator behind.

These distances are currently beyond safe EV autonomy (Note: it will be nice to read this post again in a few years from now, when autonomy will probably increase a lot).

Besides, like we already reported, several countries are indicating electric vehicles as a solution for urban transportation: "short distance commuters" (Japan), "electric charging pools .. at least every 60 km" (European Union) or "Light Duty Vehicles" (United States).

Coming back to the topic, such stations indeed exist but are not common. And it all indicates related to the need of a refuelling station in the middle of nowhere (almost).

And generated so much debate, that groups even investigated, made calculations and came to conclusions such as  "It’s better than putting diesel in a car, because the constant running rate of the generator uses the fuel more efficiently than idling and accelerating in a car." (The Driven, source already mentioned above).

Check also this post by the Tesla Owners Club Western Australia from January 2024 "Is it Cheaper to Drive an EV Across the Nullarbor? Yes, but there’s a catch". And from that article, one quote: "Always remember driving across the Nullarbor is an adventure not a money saving venture".

Last but not least, click at the image below for the article "World first: BiØfil opens up Nullarbor for EVs with chip oil generator" at the Australian Rural & Regional News website. It includes a nice 5 minutes video about the solution in that Australian Nullarbor landscape. By the way, at minute 1 you can see the charging station for electric cars that runs - not on diesel - but on used vegetable cooking oil.

Like BiØfil inventor and retired engineer Jon Edwards elaborated: "The chip oil that is used in deep fryers comes from seed crops such as canola and sunflower, the plants absorb the CO2 and sunlight to make the oil, which is put to commercial use as fryer oil, then it becomes a waste product – BiØfil extracts the energy from the waste product to charge EVs using a generator, the CO2 produced is the same as the CO2 absorbed, so the process is net zero”.


Tomorrow we will post about electric vehicles in winter conditions.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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