A viral photo floating around the internet shows a BMW i3 electric car being charged by what looks like a diesel-powered EV charger. It’s entirely real and here’s why it’s used.
I’ve heard of stranded electric vehicles being charged by a gas-powered generator by the side of the road but never would’ve I believed someone legitimately making a diesel-powered EV charger. It’s just too ironic and some low hanging fruit for critics of electric cars. But there it was on Facebook, some group sharing exactly that, a BMW I3 hooked up to an EV charger, the charger itself belching exhaust fumes into the atmosphere.
Here’s the photo in question, tweeted from my personal account.
— Paulo nonVTEC Acoba (@ferio_252) August 7, 2019
It’s called the Charge Pod, it’s a self-funded project by an EV enthusiast in Australia, and currently, there’s only one of these in the entire world, although it looks like the creator hopes to create more.
From what I can gather, Australia’s charging infrastructure isn’t quite at the level of the United States and other more EV friendly countries. Long stretches of road in Australia means that, at the moment, there aren’t enough chargers to make the longer road trips possible.
One of those stretches called the Nullarbor Plain is a 77,000 square mile piece of Australia visible from space. At 684 miles from east to west, it’s a piece of real estate that EV’s couldn’t traverse since there weren’t electric chargers in the middle of the journey.
Enter the aforementioned ChargePod, a literal combination of a commercial-grade diesel generator and EV charger. As per the creator in the linked article above,
He stresses that the point is not to offer a diesel-powered EV charger as the final solution, but as a reliable stop gap until installation of batteries and renewable-powered EV chargers become financially viable.
Thanks to these ChargePods, EV”s can now theoretically make a roadtrip across the Nullarbor, once thought impossible at the moment.
When it comes down to it, after just a brief search about Australia’s energy mix, it looks like most of their electricity is still made by coal and natural gas. Technically Teslas and other EV’s are all still technically powered by the prehistoric fuel.
This ChargePod is just a little more honest about it.
This is a unique solution to a problem that sheds a light of the current state of EV charging. It’s still a nascent technology in the grand scheme of things.
Kudos to the creator.
Soon there will come a day when your creation won’t be needed because there will be enough chargers where needed.
Some creators aren’t in it just for the money, this one is working for the greater good.