A number of electric vehicle fast-chargers fuelled by old waste vegetable oil will plug a “gap in the Big Lap,” by providing a charging solution that doesn’t need to be connected to the grid.

The system has been designed and developed by engineer Jon Edwards, specifically so roadhouses – initially across the Nullabor – can filter their waste fryer oil and then use it to run in generator to power an EV fast charger.

The technology is called the Biofil, and a number of other electric vehicle owners held an EV show and tell day in the hometown of one particular roadhouse owner in early November to demonstrate the innovative charging solution.

While it may seem at first to be counterintuitive – why burn oil to power an EV when a combustion car can already drive these distances – Edwards and co have shown in the past that even using a diesel generator to power the Biofil uses less fuel than a diesel car would to drive the same distance.

As reported by The Driven earlier in November, the West Australia government plan to build the world’s longest intrastate EV charging network ignored a stretch of some 720km between Norseman in the state’s south-east and the South Australia border.

Now, with the roadhouse owner on board, the team has announced it plans to install two Biofil units (using Tritium 50kW fast-chargers) at Caiguna, a town about halfway between Norsemen and Eucla that sits at the eastern end of one of the longest stretches of straight road in the world, in January.

In addition to the 50kW Biofil units at Caiguna, the group hopes to also add two 22kW units at Balladonia and Madura.

But it won’t be cheap – at least for a community-funded project.

Edwards estimates about $150,000 will be needed to fund the project, and with support from the University of Western Australia’s REV Project, the Tesla Owners Club of Australia, the Tesla Owners Club of Western Australia, the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, TeslaWA Slack group, Gemtek Group and Tritium, he has kicked off a crowd-funding project with Chuff to get things going. You can make a donation here.

As explained by the team in its crowd-funding pitch:

“BiØfil is an interim EV fast charging solution to which battery and solar can be added later when the cost can be justified.

“In the interim BiØfil is indirectly providing solar energy, as explained below:

  • The Canola flowers take a quantity of CO2 out of the atmosphere and absorb solar energy to make the Canola oil.
  • The oil is put to commercial use in fryers then it becomes a waste product.
  • BiØfil extracts the solar energy out of the waste oil to charge the EVs using a generator.
  • The same quantity of CO2 produced returns to the atmosphere from where it came.
  • The cycle is “Carbon Neutral” or “Net Zero” with no incremental CO2 impact on the environment.”

A Biofil dubbed the “ChargePod” has been tested previously at the Caltex Service Station in Jurien Bay, and also at Arthur River south of Perth.

Extracted in full from: EV chargers powered by old fryer oil to fill gaps for electric cars going around Australia (thedriven.io)

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