At least three Western Australian politicians showed up in Tesla electric cars on Sunday along with 75 other electric car owners for a farewell party for three old chip oil electric chargers to be installed on a remote road in Western Australia.
“78 EVs destroyed a weekend in Garling Street, O’Connor to bid farewell to BiOFil DC chargers on their way to Nullarbor,” said David Lloyd, a member of the Western Australia Tesla community.
“Three politicians (EVs) have been accused in unison by BiOfils, of uniting Citizens, Labor and Greens in a common cause.”
Among the politicians involved were Brad Pettit, Labor Shadow Federalist Representative Patrick Gorman, and Labor National Minister Colin de Grossa.
Known as Biofil and invented by retired engineer John Edwards, EV chargers fill a gap in the charging networks between Western Australia and South Australia.
Although the Western Australian government has committed to building what is believed to be the longest intra-state freight network in the world, it has neglected to include important 700 km sites between Norseman and the South Australian border.
After gaining support from a road owner to install chargers at sites to fill the void, the Tesla WA community invited four politicians to a charger farewell party as they began their journey to road homes, funded in part by a fundraising “Musk Vodka” initiative from Australia’s Tesla Owners Club.
(By the way, musk sticks, which use the same musky vodka flavor, are unique to Australia and New Zealand.)
However, much of the funding has come via Chuffed, in a crowdfunding campaign that has so far raised $60,000 in pledges from a $150,000 target.
According to Lloyd, of the 75 other electric vehicles that attended the farewell party, 58 were Teslas (and 50 were Model 3s), seven were Hyundai Konas, while two each were Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and MG ZS EVs. He also attended a BMW i3, Mini Cooper SE, Renault Zoe and even an electric Ford Focus.
According to TOCA President Mark Tipping, at least 350 bottles of Musk Vodka have been sold so far, and several thousand are expected to be shipped to China under a distribution deal with Mountain Vodka that produced the crowdfunding component.
Two Biofil chargers will be temporarily installed in the town of Southern Cross in addition to BP Norseman in preparation for the official opening, and the third is bound for Caiguna, Edwards says.
Brady Schmidt is an associate editor at The Driven, the sister site to Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role zero-emissions transportation should play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is a co-organizer of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 which is available for rental at evee.com.au.