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QLD kicks off electric super highway

Charged up: QLD environment minister and acting main roads minister Steven Miles (centre) at the launch of the Queensland Electric Super Highway.

Car-makers call on other states to follow QLD’s lead on EV charging network

28 Jul 2017

THE Queensland state government has launched an electric vehicle (EV) fast charging network that will stretch from the Gold Coast up to Cairns in a bid to encourage wider take up of electrified powertrains.

Dubbed the Queensland Electric Super Highway, the state government says it will be the world’s longest super highway of its kind, with QLD environment minister and acting main roads minister Steven Miles detailing the network this week.

“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,” he said.

“Today 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 that the energy from the fast charging stations would be green energy purchased via 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.”

The cost to the QLD government is $3 million and it will allow EV-drivers to commute from the state’s south through to the far north.

The fast charging stations will be located in Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.

A number of car-makers that offer EVs or plug-in hybrid EVs in Australia have praised the move, including members of the recently formed Electric Vehicle Council, such as Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi.

BMW Group Australia chief executive officer Marc Werner, who has been pushing for government assistance to encourage EV take up for some time, said other states should follow the QLD government’s plan.

“The BMW Group is a global leader in innovative personal mobility and we currently offer seven pure electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in the Australian market. We have the product and the customers – now all we need is the infrastructure.

“And that’s why it is so heartening to see the Queensland government showing such strong leadership with strategic policy direction and action on infrastructure. This progressive initiative sets the benchmark for other Australian governments to follow.” Electric Vehicle Council chief executive officer Beyhad Jafari also called on other state and territory governments to up their game and support EV infrastructure.

“This initial support from government serves as a signal that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles providing the opportunity for investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs,” he said.

“I encourage all governments across Australia to follow suit and provide motorists with the support needed to promote electric vehicle uptake.” EV-maker Tesla has already started a rollout of its ‘Supercharger’ network in Australia with 12 stations running from Ballarat in western Victoria to Byron Bay in northern New South Wales.

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