It will soon be possible to drive an electric vehicle down the Queensland coast following the launch of the world’s longest electric vehicle (EV) highway in one state.
Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles officially kick-started the EV revolution with the launch of the Queensland Electric Super Highway on Thursday.
The super highway will comprise a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations to be rolled out at locations right up the Queensland coast from the Gold Coast to Cairns to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Queensland.
“This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low emissions future,” Mr Miles said.
“I’m announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway and will, once operational in the next six months, make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state’s southern border to the Far North.
“They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them.”
Mr Miles said what made the announcement even more exciting was the fact the energy supplied in the fast-charging stations would be green energy purchased through green energy credits or offsets.
“EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy,” he said.
“The Queensland Electric Super Highway has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel around Queensland in the future.”
Mr Miles said electric vehicle ownership rates around the world were increasing, largely due to significant advances in battery technology and continued cost reductions in EVs.
“The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50 per cent of Queenslanders will consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative braking hybrid, when purchasing a new car in the next two years and that majority said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would further tempt them into purchasing an EV,” he said.
Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said the Queensland Government was to be commended for its national leadership in support of the electric vehicle industry.
“This initial support from government serves as a signal to the market that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles and provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high-skilled jobs,” he said.
“I encourage all governments across Australia to follow suit, particularly as this support will help to provide motorists with increased choice of cars that are cheaper and healthier to operate.”
The locations of the fast-charging stations are: Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.
The news comes after the British Government announced new diesel and petrol cars and vans would be banned in the UK from 2040, weeks after France unveiled similar plans.
Carmakers are also accelerating the shift towards electric; with Volvo announcing all new models from 2019 would be electric.