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Chip fat powers Nullabor EV charging station

Polestar trials remote CO2-neutral fast charger powered by waste cooking oil

17 Jan 2022

POLESTAR is trialling a world-first electric vehicle charging system on the Nullarbor Plain, the innovative high-speed system powered using waste ‘chip fat’ vegetable oil from the nearby Caiguna roadhouse.


Known as BiØfil, the fast-charging station is completely off-grid and self-contained, and recently powered a Polestar 2 for a cross-country journey as inventor Jon Edwards explains.


“The cost of installing an equivalent solar-powered EV fast charger is over five times the cost of building the BiØfil fast charging unit,” Mr Edwards said.


“Solar energy would not have been economically feasible for such a low traffic location, making BiØfil the environmentally friendly interim solution for EVs driving across the Nullarbor right now.”


Mr Edwards, who identified that the proposed electric vehicle highway in Western Australia left a gap on the Nullarbor, said the Caiguna Roadhouse charging point is critical to anyone wishing to complete an around-Australia journey by EV. 


The Caiguna Roadhouse is positioned 370km east of Norsemen and 370km west of the South Australian border making it the ideal half-way point for EV owners wishing to traverse the Nullarbor Plain.


The BiØfil fast charging unit extracts energy from waste oil using a generator, but is an entirely net-zero exercise, with no incremental impact on the environment, Mr Edwards says. The vegetable oil for the fryers comes from seed crops, such as canola and sunflower, which absorb CO2 and sunlight, and the CO2 produced to power the charge system is the equivalent to CO2 absorbed.


“Polestar is thrilled to share its passion for innovation and sustainability with visionaries like Jon Edwards,” Polestar Australia managing director Samantha Johnson said.


“To turn a waste product into a CO2-neutral charging solution, which connects Australian EV owners from the east with the west, is the sort of ingenuity that has led to so many Australian innovations.”


The all-electric Polestar 2 goes on-sale in Australia next month.

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4th of November 2021

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