Recently, we’ve seen countries like the UK and France announce they will scrap petrol and diesel vehicles in the coming decades. Now, Australia has revealed initiatives for electric cars too, by announcing plans for an “electric super highway”.
Stretching 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) along the state of Queensland’s east coast, the $3 million project will be one of the longest purposefully designed roads for electric vehicles. It will be dotted with 18 fast-charging stations, with the ability to charge a car in 30 minutes.
The announcement was made by Steven Miles, the environment minister and acting main roads minister (apparently that’s a real thing). The road will stretch from Cairns to Coolangatta down the coast, and then west to Toowoomba.
“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,” Miles said in a statement. "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.”
Once built (a time scale hasn’t been announced yet), the charging stations will be free to use at first, to encourage people to use electric vehicles. All of the energy supplied will also be supplied by renewable energy, which probably makes sense considering how much sunshine Australia gets.
Australia already has a fair few electric charging stations, but it has few fast-charging stations like the ones planned here. Thus, the development of this highway could be pretty useful.
“This initial support from government serves as a signal to the market that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles and provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs,” said Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, in the statement. “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.”
Several similar projects have already sprung up around the world, such as in the US, where Tesla is busy building supercharging stations for its all-electric vehicles. Now that Australia is in the game too, and countries are banning polluting cars, that can only be a good thing.