Extract from ABC News
Photo: The Queensland Government is encouraging motorists to drive electric cars, like this Tesla model. (Supplied: Tesla)
Eighteen fast-charging charging stations will be installed around Queensland to create a "super highway" to allow electric vehicles to travel from the Gold Coast to Cairns.Acting Roads Minister Steven Miles said the stations would be able to charge electric vehicles in about 30 minutes, and would be made free for at least 12 months.
The rollout will take place over the next six months.
"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.Early usage of the charging stations is expected to be low, given there are only about 700 fully electric electric vehicles registered in Queensland.
And a report by the Electric Vehicle Council released in June said only 1,369 electric vehicles were sold in Australia last year, making up 0.1 per cent of the market.
Of those, about half were fully electric and the rest were hybrid-electric vehicles.
While it is cheaper to recharge an electric car than re-fuel a petrol-powered car, the drawback for many is lower travel range and limited number of public charging stations.
Even though the take-up rate has been slow in Australia, Mr Miles said drivers were showing increased enthusiasm.
"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," Mr Miles said.
Ray Newman, the owner of a $128,000 Tesla vehicle, said he had driven 60,000 kilometres since buying his car two years ago.
"I plug it in at home, which costs me just over $1,000 a year in electricity," he said.
Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said the investment in the charging stations was a sign the Queensland Government was serious about the industry.
"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," he said.
Proposed fast-charger locations:
- Miriam Vale