In a move to make EVs more attractive, Australia plans to build a “super highway” near the Great Barrier Reef. For perspective, this is located along the coast of Queensland and will stretch out to 1,118 miles. As reported in The Guardian, each station will be able to charge electric vehicles in 30 minutes and they “will offer free power for at least a year.” The network will cost around $2.4 million USD.
Many large cities around the world, such as Paris and Mexico City, are also implementing goals to ban diesel cars in the future. While it’s a great projection to set, these places must be in the process to improve the infrastructure for electric vehicles, or they’ll be receiving pushback in clean energy movement. Australia is still debating whether or not to implement a ban in the future, but by adding charging stations so close to this famous tourist attraction, they're already generating a lot of interest in green energy in a positive way.
Specifically, the highway will run from Coolangatta to Cairns. Steven Miles, an environmental minister, explains that it will be constructed in phases with the first happening in 18 different cities in the next six months. He said that it would be “possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state’s southern border to the far north.”
Miles also added that he hopes that the free period will entice people to try out the new services and the new highway could cut fuel prices in the area, explaining, "EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy...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.”
It’s unknown how many stations will exactly be on the new highway. They could be following the same blueprint as the United States’ West Coast Electric Highway. There are fast charging stations every 25 or 50 miles, meaning that owners of electric cars can easily transport from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California.
While blowing past 1,000 miles is a pretty extensive highway, it doesn’t match up to the world’s biggest EV highway in Canada. The Trans-Canada EV measures in at roughly 4,850 miles. Domestically, the United States has made strides in improving the infrastructure of charging EVs with over 43,000 charging stations.
Why is Australia building such an extravagant highway at the Great Barrier Reef? Queensland, along with many other states in the country, are trying to push for a renewable future. According to Reuters, energy minister Josh Frydenberg said that the country’s electric vehicle count will “increase to around 12,000 by 2020 and about one million by 2030.”