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Last week’s announcement by the Queensland state government of an fast-charging electric vehicle network is a massive win for fleet managers and consumers contemplating a take-up of electric vehicles.

The project, known as the Queensland Electric Super Highway, would see 18 fast-charging stations installed from the Gold Coast through to Cairns that would allow drivers convenient and reliable movement across the state.

QLD environment minister and acting main roads minister Steven Miles said the “ambitious” project was a necessary move to future proof Queensland’s transport and environmental network.

“The Queensland Electric Super Highway has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel around Queensland in the future,” he said

“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 the fast-charging stations would have the capability to fully charge a vehicle within 30 minutes and would be free of charge for at least the first twelve months.

The $3 million project comes as research shows public stigma against electric vehicles is changing in the northern state, with half of those surveyed open to an electric vehicle future.

“The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50% 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 the majority said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would further tempt them into purchasing an EV,” he said.

“EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy.”

Electric Vehicle Council CEO, Behyad Jafari said the Queensland Government should be commended for its national leadership in support of the electric vehicle industry.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

With only 700 fully electric vehicles currently registered in Queensland, it is expected that usage of the fast-charging stations will initially be quite low. However with more car-makers developing EVs or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in coming years the state will be well equipped to accommodate the increased demand.

Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi have all so far publicly praised the initiative made by the Queensland State Government.

The project is expected to be rolled out across the state over the next 6 months, with fast-charging stations based at the following locations:

  1. Cairns
  2. Tully
  3. Townsville
  4. Bowen
  5. Mackay
  6. Carmila
  7. Marlborough
  8. Rockhampton
  9. Miriam Vale
  10. Childers
  11. Maryborough
  12. Cooroy
  13. Brisbane
  14. Helensvale
  15. Coolangatta
  16. Springfield
  17. Gatton
  18. Toowoomba

More information about the Queensland Electric Super Highway project can be found here.