The first fully renewable powered Electric Vehicle crossing of the Australian Simpson Desert. Your chance to be part of history.
The first fully renewable powered Electric Vehicle crossing of the Australian Simpson Desert. Your chance to be part of history. Read more
Over the past year we have been working on the idea that a 4x4 can be converted from its original Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) setup into a fully renewable powered Electric Vehicle (EV) that is capable of crossing the Simpson Desert.
We have been passionate about EVs and renewable technology for a long time and as such have constantly been exposed to the opinions of those doubting the technology's capabilities.
Back in 2016 while reminiscing over a previous Simpson Desert adventure in a local beer garden, a mate challenged that we should build an EV capable of the same journey. Quite quickly that simple jest grew into something that we just couldn’t turn away from. Being two young electrical engineers we believe the challenge of building the first EV in history to cross the world’s largest sand dune desert is our chance to really test and prove our capabilities.
We have designed, modelled and refined what we believe to be the most optimal vehicle conversion for this crossing. The design we have finalised is an accurate balance of necessary redundancies to account for the Simpson's unpredictable weather and unforgiving terrain whilst maximizing the vehicles power, weight and performance characteristics, and maintaining the vehicles road worthy status.
Our renewable energy generation system is a hybrid system comprised of solar and wind generation elements which have been specifically sized to facilitate an 8 day desert crossing based on historical meteorological and solar irradiance data of the Simpson Desert. This diversified approach reduces reliance on any one type of generation thus mitigating reduced charging scenarios.
The EV drivetrain has been designed around market standard components, readily obtained and supported in Australia. The conversion process will be one easily replicable by other enthusiasts in domestic style workshops and can be extended across all vehicle types not just 4x4s. The major milestones for the conversion of the drive terrain are:
- Removal of all unnecessary ICE components,
- mounting of AC traction motor and coupling to existing drivetrain,
- mounting of lithium-ion battery packs to maintain correct weight distribution,
- mounting of motor controller, power and control cabling insuring adequate cooling and circuit protections, and
- modification of vehicle ancillaries to ensure compliance with required road regulations.
Through this project we are seeking to widen the acceptance of EVs and renewable technology. We also hope to inspire people to take on projects of their own. We will be documenting the process of this conversion to share with all those who have pledged to the campaign.
It is our hope that by completing this project we will have expanded the resources available to those interested in conducting their own EV conversions and provided the catalyst for them to start an adventure of their own. We also believe that this project will stand testament to capabilities of EVs and renewable technology which will help us work towards a stable and sustainable future.
We want this to be a collaborative effort, where you the pledger can really be involved in history. Please feel free to contact us through the Kickstarter page, our website or by any one of our social sites.
We are Dan Clements and Tom Creek. Two mates and electrical engineers designing, creating and promoting electric vehicles in Australia. We are building the first ever Electric Vehicle to cross the Simpson Desert. We are hoping this will stand as a catalyst for electric vehicle use in Australia. We are striving to promote renewable energy as an imperative, not an alternative.
We are Clements X Creek.
Risks and challenges
RISK | The EV build is not complete by August
By completing the majority of the design and planning work already, we have confidently created a timeline where we have identified the critical path of the build. With this known we can assure that any holdups that may delay the project can be mitigated as early as possible or have contingency plans already in place.
RISK | The Budget does not cover the project costs
Through our extensive designs we have been able to compile a detailed cost breakdown of the project. By designing around parts and services readily available in Australia we can confidently plan for component costs and availability.
RISK | Poor weather conditions effecting trip progress
We have planned the trip for August which is historically one of most forgiving times of year in the Simpson Desert. We have also intentionally avoided setting firm dates for this trip so that we can attempt the crossing during favourable conditions. Through design and modelling, we are confident that our diversified renewable generation system is versatile enough to handle the erratic nature of the desert.
RISK | Vehicle is inadequate for the task
The vehicle itself will ultimately be more robust than the original vehicle. The EV drivetrain has significantly fewer components than an ICE setup which means that there are less components that can fail. We will also be putting the EV through extensive testing prior to the trip and will be confident of its capabilities before we arrive at the desert.
CHALLENGE | Breaking the common perceptions of EVs
This is the main driver behind this project. We are focused on proving that EVs are not range limited and are no less capable than their combustion counterparts. This is why we have set our sights to arguably the toughest terrain in Australia.
CHALLENGE | Attempting a world first
There are no instructions on how to complete a world first. It has taken a lot of effort, preparation and planning to get this far and it will take a lot more to see it out to completion. Although with all the hard work comes the reward of being a pioneer. The motivation of achieving a world first is a large driving force of this project.
CHALLENGE | Video editing
We are by no means Oscar nominees for our production so far. It has been a steep learning curve for our artistic side but an enjoyable one at that. We look forward to starting the documentation of our build and to further develop of our cinematography skills.
- (35 days)