The mantra of many a caryard salesman, when asked about electric cars, is, “But you can’t drive it across the Nullarbor.”
That’s not entirely true – there have been several inspiring examples of travellers who have struck out across the Australian desert under electric power, with Wiebe Wakker and Sylvia Wilson springing instantly to mind.
However, these trips have not been without challenges, because while some very bright sparks in the EV community have organised three-phase power outlets to charge EVs at remote locations such as roadhouses, phases are not always in balance due to diesel generator age and capacity, nor the points always accessible.
Jon Edwards, a retired engineer from Perth, is looking into a solution that may solve this issue for transcontinental travellers, at least until solar powered stations become the norm.
Edwards and a group of fellow EV drivers gathered last week to test out whether powering an EV charger – in this case, a Tritium Veefil 50kW DC charger – with diesel would be not only a reliable solution, but whether the amount of diesel used is at least comparable to that of a diesel-fuelled car.
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