Queensland’s electric super highway fully charged

Motorists can now drive electric vehicles all the way from Coolangatta to Cairns, and west from Brisbane to Toowoomba, thanks to the installation of charger stations at Townsville and Carmila.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said with these two charging stations coming online in January, the initial phase of the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH) was officially up and running.

“We now have the world’s longest electric vehicle super highway in a single state stretching all the way up our beautiful eastern coastline,” Mr Bailey said.

“This is literally electrifying news for Queenslanders and just one example of the innovative and strategic direction this state continues to take.”

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said she was buzzed to learn the charger in her electorate was now online.

“The Queensland state government first announced the QESH in June 2017 and, just over six months later with the completion of chargers at Townsville and Carmila, it is now possible for Queenslanders with EVs to drive from Coolangatta to Cairns using our infrastructure,” she said.

“This is great news for electric vehicle users across Queensland.”

Fast-charging stations have been installed in Bowen, Cairns, Carmila, Childers, Gatton, Hamilton, Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta), Mackay, Marlborough, Maryborough, Miriam Vale, Rockhampton, Springfield, Sunshine Coast (Cooroy), Townsville, Toowoomba and Tully.

The next charger expected to come online will be at Helensvale, and will be operational after the Commonwealth Games.

Mr Bailey said the state government had a vision to encourage the uptake of EVs in Queensland, getting as many people as possible on board the EV revolution, as part of a transition to a low emissions future.

He said it was the government’s plan to expand the QESH and continue rolling out charging stations across the state’s vast road network as part of The Future is Electric: Queensland’s Electric Vehicle Strategy, the first of its kind in Australia.

“The QESH is a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations that make it possible to drive an EV from the state’s southern border to the far north,” he said

“We knew our vision was ambitious, but this shift is happening around the world and unfortunately Australia is lagging behind.

“To encourage the uptake and interest in electric vehicles, the fast-charging stations are available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway.”

Mr Bailey said electric vehicle ownership rates around the world were increasing, with global sales passing two million last year due in part to significant advances in battery technology and continued cost reductions in EVs.

“The global market continues to head full-speed towards a future where electric vehicles dominate the transport space, with major manufacturers unveiling their newest models in recent expos in the United States and making major commitments to increasing the range available to consumers,” Mr Bailey said.

An EV recharged by 100 per cent solar can save 3.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually when compared to a traditional, internal combustion vehicle (driving 15,000km per year).

“To make sure we harness the benefits of electric vehicles, the energy supplied in the fast-charging stations is green energy bought through green energy credits or offsets,” Mr Bailey said.

“The driving range of electric vehicles and local network capacity were taken into account in mapping the network, so the charging stations could be connected without significant additional infrastructure costs.

“The sites were chosen so that while people recharge their EV they can also take a break to stop, revive and survive.”