Will we have charging stations for diesel-powered electric cars?

Will we have charging stations for diesel-powered electric cars? Will we have charging stations for diesel-powered electric cars?

"Environmental absurdity", "shameless lie", "hypocrisy"... For several days now, Internet users have had no shortage of qualifiers for a publication showing an electric vehicle charging station in front of a large white box.

The photo is accompanied by a comment that shows the disappointment of its author: "Electric charger on a diesel generator... We are the stupidest species on the planet!"

Shared several million times on Facebook, we find this image on other social networks like Instagram or Twitter, always with the same kind of accusations. However, not a single detail appears on the photo, neither the place where it was taken, nor its author.

By doing a reverse image search on Google, we find that the image has been circulating on many foreign websites with the same claims about its content for several years.

Although the image is of poor quality, it is possible to make out what is written on top of the charging station: Nullarbor, a region in southern Australia. By refining the search with this element, we find the origin of the photo. It was used to illustrate an article on a website called The Driven that specializes in electric vehicles.

The article in question, published on December 14, 2018, talks about an experiment started by John Edwards, the author of the photograph. He is a fan of electric cars and runs into a big problem: he regularly crosses the Nullarbor Plain, a desert area where truck stops equipped with electric vehicle charging stations are almost non-existent, or unsuitable for many vehicles.

John Edwards, a retired engineer, therefore envisioned a solution that could solve the problem of traveling very long distances in a mostly desert country – diesel fueling stations.

However, the project is not as absurd as many comments suggest. First, because at the time the government promised very large investments in this sector with the goal of switching half of the national fleet to electricity before 2030 and access to fast charging stations for 84 percent of the population. These terminals must be connected to the electricity grid, powered by renewable energy sources, for example solar energy.

Not wanting to wait for the implementation of this national system, John Edwards worked on his project for a diesel-powered charging station with an environmental conscience: his station produces more energy for an electric vehicle than a thermal engine vehicle with the same mileage would consume. So, a less polluting solution and a successful bet according to him and the group of drivers he gathered to test his terminal on different car models.

Another advantage of its terminal, it would be easy to install it in all gas stations that would only have to supply it with the fuel they already have. John Edwards insisted that his prototype was only intended to fill a time gap while he waits for a financially reliable model of renewable energy charging stations to be implemented.

Patience doesn't seem to be an engineer's dominant personality trait, The Driven tells us in a January 2021 article that John Edwards has created a new model of a refueling station that runs on processed vegetable oil. Renewable and carbon neutral energy that can replace diesel, with an ingenious integrated system for purifying these oils.

Thus, service stations can directly recover vegetable oil used by their kitchens or that stored in other generator supply facilities. After financing the construction and installation of four models in the region, John Edwards hopes the state will grant subsidies to his project to equip much of the country's desert regions.