Jon Edwards, as told to David Waterworth
The team behind the Tesla Model 3 Targa West success story plans to be part of the recreation of Australia’s historic Perth-to-Sydney marathon in October this year. I caught up with Jon Edwards and he supplied this update:
The TOCEVA race team will tackle the Perth-to-Sydney marathon with an awesome group of people — driver and co-driver Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann, supported by a charge crew team of 3 drivers and 3 navigators who will man the 3 mobile charging assets. The charge crew will leapfrog the charges ahead of the rally, often camping out to be in the right position at the right time as the rally passes. Each charge crew will have an optimised route to follow and carry a satellite phone for communications in remote areas. There are 6 public EV assemblies planned to support the entry over the 10 days — Miling in Western Australia; Port Augusta, South Australia; Jerilderie, New South Wales; Lakes Entrance, Victoria; Cooma, New South Wales; and Warwick Farm, New South Wales for the finish.
I will be overseeing the charge crew and rally operations in a new Tesla Model Y. Travelling with me will be Ed Hayes, a professional filmmaker drone operator from Sydney, to capture all the action. We will be carrying Sky Link internet service for fast uploading and live streaming. With 11 on the team, we have a lot of mouths to feed and beds to find — but it’s an awesome adventure in the making.
The Tesla Model 3 Performance has had its suspension raised and set for gravel rally work. Yokohama has sponsored the TOCEVA team with 8 Geolander tires suitable for bitumen and gravel. We have completed battery consumption tests on gravel roads and now got a good understanding what the charging requirements will be.
We are currently gathering sponsors and will be revamping the wrap on the car soon. The Tesla is looking good for a win in the Targa Cup series, with two more events to go — on the 10th of September, racing the streets of Ellenbrook; and on the 11th of September, around Langley Park in the city of Perth. In both circuits, we are very competitive and expecting to bring home the cup.
Regarding the charging equipment for the Sydney marathon, the AC chargers have been delivered and “Charge Truck 1” is now complete and fully tested. It comprises a 100 KVA Biofil generator powering an 80 kW electric vehicle charger. It has two custom-built 900 litre tanks fitted. We will have enough fryer oil to power the Tesla from Perth to Sydney and back twice.
“Charge Truck 2” is complete and currently undergoing testing. It comprises a 75 kWh battery pack and 80 kW EV charger complete with awning to keep off the sun and rain. It can recharge itself from a 50 KVA Biofil while travelling to the next charging location. The second Tesla Model 3 battery has been delivered and a decision has been made to trailer mount it as an emergency back up unit in the event we run into charging trouble during the rally. The 120 kW AC charger has been delivered and made into a Biofil charging station currently commissioned as a ground station at the Perth workshop. This is open to the public for carbon-neutral fast charging.
There will be an open day on the 20th of August at U12 103 Garling Street, O’Connor, Western Australia, where the car and charging equipment can be inspected and questions answered.
Stay tuned for the next exciting installment. It is expected that there will be interest from the mainstream media and thus more exposure to electric cars for the general public.
Featured photo: Tesla Model 3 prepped for marathon. Photo courtesy CMR Photographic.
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