The Queensland government has announced a bold new infrastructure plan that will see it install an electric vehicle charging network over a span of 2000 kilometres of the state’s highway system by the end of this year.
The announcement for the so-called electric super highway plan came on Thursday, and is set to extend from Coolangatta in south of the state up to Cairns in northern Queensland and additional points in Mackay, Rockhampton, and Brisbane encompassing 18 chargers.
Environment Minister and acting Roads Minister, Steven Miles, said the project will be the longest electrified highway contained within one state.
"The future truly is electric,” Miles says.
"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.”
"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."
Unlike Tesla’s expanding Supercharger network, which uses a proprietary system for the exclusive use of Tesla owners, the Queensland network will be available to a wide range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Although less than 1 per cent of Australian new car owners are opting to make the switch to electric vehicles at present, that number is expected to quickly grow as an increasing number of manufacturers make the move to electric vehicles.
Miles also promised to deliver a charging network fuelled by green energy rather than coal power.
"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."