Fried Chips for Fuel

Chip fat helps Swedish EV cross the Nullarbor.
Polestar car
A new bio-fuel electric vehicle (EV) charging station on the Nullarbor Plain will help make the journey across one of Australia’s longest and most remote highways a reality for more EVs, according to the solar-powered fast charger’s inventor.

The BiØfil fast-charging system is the brainchild of retired engineer, Jon Edwards, who identified that the proposed electric vehicle highway in Western Australia left a gap on the Nullarbor, and with it, the ability to drive an electric vehicle (EV) around Australia.

A road trip across the Nullarbor has been a rite of passage for generations of Australians, but until now electric vehicle (EV) drivers have been unable to tackle the journey due to a lack of charging infrastructure.

Located at the Caiguna Roadhouse the new BiØfil fast-charging point is positioned 370km east of Norsemen and 370km west of the South Australian border, effectively plugging the EV range gap between Western Australia and South Australia, enabling EV owners to traverse the Nullarbor.

The fully off-grid and self-contained BiØfil fast chargers use solar power and waste oil from the Caiguna Roadhouse kitchen, extracting energy from the waste oil using a generator, with the process claimed to be entirely net-zero, with no incremental impact on the environment.

This is because 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 the CO2 absorbed.

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

A Polestar 2 was one of the first EVs to trial the new system, powering up at the BiØfil fast charger en-route to Perth. The premium Swedish electric vehicle brand is set to launch in Australia in February with a model range priced from

$59,900 and a claimed maximum range of 540km on the long-range variant.

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

“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.”

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