By CAITLIN CROWLEY
QUEENSLAND’S “Electric Super Highway” is pushing as far south-west as Cunnamulla with the state government building 24 new fast-charging stations to improve connectivity for electric vehicle (EV) drivers.
31 charging stations already connect Queensland’s east coast from Coolangatta to Port Douglas, but they only extend as far west as Toowoomba.
“Phase 3 had already been allocated $2.75 million to build 18 sites at Charters Towers, Hughenden, Julia Creek, Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe, Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Emerald, Dingo, Charleville, Roma, Miles, Kingaroy and Esk,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“I am pleased to announce an additional $1.08 million has been secured to deliver six more charging stations at Richmond, Kynuna, Injune, Rolleston, St George and Cunnamulla.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said this now extends the Electric Super Highway from Mount Isa in the north west to Goondiwindi in the south.
“This provides a regional connector between rural and city areas to create more tourism and economic development opportunities,” he said.
“As more and more people take up EVs we know the issue of range anxiety has been raised, which is why we will continue to supercharge our highways to make sure people have the confidence to take those longer trips into regional Queensland.
“As an EV driver I know how important the spacing, ease of access and speed of charging can be when you’re on a road trip so I’m proud to deliver better charging infrastructure for everyone who needs it.”
Between 2018 and the end of April this year, more than 55,000 Queensland Electric Super Highway charging sessions were logged, saving between 1148-1347 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to similar light petrol or diesel vehicles.
“This is the equivalent of removing 391 petrol or diesel vehicles from Queensland roads,” Mr Bailey said.
“Over the past few years the number of EVs has skyrocketed from as low as 700 to nearly 9000, and I want to see this number continue to rise.”
Phase 3 works are expected to start mid this year with all 24 sites expected to become progressively operational by mid-2023.