Queensland to roll out ‘electric-vehicle super highway’

Queensland Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles has announced the launch of what is claimed will be the world’s longest ‘electric super highway’ in one state.

He says the series of fast-charging electric-vehicle (EV) stations will be rolled out at locations along the coast from the Gold Coast to Cairns, aimed at encouraging 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,” he said.

“Today I’m announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the electric super highway.”

He adds that, once the charging stations are operational in the next six months, it will be 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.

Welcoming the move, ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie confirmed that the association has been working cooperatively to assist with the development of the project and the engagement of selected fuel retailers along the route.

“Our industry is keen to accommodate the ever-changing transport energy needs of our customers, whether that be the continued use of conventional transport fuels, the use of gaseous fuels, or the recharging of electric vehicles,” he said.

ACAPMA, he says, believes that the insights derived from this innovative project will provide the practical information needed for fuel retailers to adapt national service-station infrastructure to accommodate a gradual increase in fully electric and hybrid-electric vehicles over the next 20 to 30 years.

“While opinions vary on how fast the transition to electric vehicles will occur, the leadership shown by the Queensland government provides a very practical means of testing different approaches to EV charging at Australian service stations,” Mr McKenzie said.

He adds that with 6,700 sites around the country and more than 70 years of experience in meeting the transport energy and convenience needs of Australian consumers, the Australian fuel retail industry is strategically positioned to support the progressive rollout of EV-charging infrastructure.

“This leadership project will provide vital demonstration information that will have national significance in supporting the safe and efficient recharging of electric vehicles at service stations in the future,” Mr McKenzie said.

This is an edited version of an article originally circulated by ACAPMA on July 27, 2017.

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