Misleading Video Claims Electric Bus Uses Diesel Generator

ENiemela, Pixabay

Original article (in Serbian) was published on 8/6/2024; Author: Ivan Subotić

Mario Bojic, the host of the Mario Zna (Mario Knows) podcast and the founder of the obscure web portal Nulta tacka, known for spreading disinformation, recently shared another manipulation on the social network X. “LOOK! The electric bus is charged with the help of a diesel generator. The Green Agenda is one of the biggest global frauds”, Bojic wrote along with a video that allegedly proves the described action. However, the video is a year and a half old and it has been placed in a manipulative context.

This video appeared on the Internet for the first time in December 2022. At the time, it spread on social networks in the German-speaking world, and it gained popularity after it was shared on X by Markus Abwerzger, a politician from the ultra-right Free Party of Austria. Around 137,000 people then saw a video featuring a manipulative description, similar to the one posted by Mario Bojic.

The video was taken in the garage of the Austrian carrier Zilatarel in the municipality of Jenbach in the east of the Austrian region of Tyrol. It really shows how an electric bus is charged using a diesel generator. However, does this mean that the green agenda is a hoax or that electric vehicles actually use energy derived from fossil fuels? Of course not!

After the public was alarmed by the controversial video, journalists from the daily newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung contacted the Zilatarel company whose buses can be seen in the video. The company’s technical director, Helmut Schreiner, explained to this newspaper that it was a so-called test charging and that public transport must also be prepared for crisis situations.

“In light of the power outage that lasted several hours in Jenbach on November 13, we briefly tested charging the battery using a diesel generator in the event of a power outage”, Schreiner explained, adding that “during normal traffic, the bus is stationed in the garage in Mayrhofen and there it charges via the Tivag public electricity network and a 32-ampere plug”.

The video that Bojic used in a manipulative context on X was seen by more than 17 thousand people, and the same video was also shared by domestic TikTok users. The Austrian fact-checking web portals DPA and Mimikama drew attention to this manipulation last year, as well as the year before. 

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