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Charging ahead

Maroochydore is one of 33 new regional towns chosen to receive charging infrastructure as part of a $20 million investment to almost double the size of Queensland’s electric “super highway”.

Another 44 electric car-charging stations will be rolled out in the latest extension of the state government project, with companies including Tesla and RACQ co-funding the installation.

The investment comes as the number of electric vehicles registered in Queensland topped 20,000 and after the battery-powered cars made up eight per cent of new car sales in April 2023 – up from 3.8 per cent in 2022.

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey says the government will invest $10 million in the latest stage of the car-charging highway, which launched in 2017.

“This will nearly double the amount of government-funded charging sites, expanding the facilities into regional areas,” Mr Bailey says. “By the time the new stations are up and running, our state will have one of the widest spread charging network[s] in the country.”

Queensland’s “electric super highway” is already set to feature 55 electric vehicle charging stations, including established chargers from Port Douglas in the north to Coolangatta in the south, and many under construction in western towns.

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni says the project is an important investment in zero-emission transport and quieter roads but will also support tourism in regional areas.

“Securing more chargers up and down Queensland means EV owners have even more opportunity to get out and explore all the beauty and wonder our great state has to offer,” he says.

The 33 new towns chosen to receive charging infrastructure also include Ormeau on the Gold Coast and regional centres such as Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville.

Tesla, Evie Networks, RACQ, Engie and the NRMA will co-fund and build the infrastructure, with chargers expected to be operating by the end of 2024. The new infrastructure will boost Australia’s network of 4943 stations in December 2022 – up from 3413 in 2021.   – AAP

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